Johnny Depp’s former agent opened up on Thursday about the destruction of the actor’s career and reputation as a result of his problems with alcohol and drugs.
United Talent Agency’s Tracey Jacobs told jurors in Depp’s ongoing defamation trial of ex-wife Amber Heard that the actor has gone from “the biggest star on earth” to a liability that studios are wary of due to his “unprofessional conduct”.
Jacobs testified that Depp became notorious for regularly showing up late to set and delaying filming. At one point, the actor had to start wearing an earphone to get his leads fed to him.
“His star was dimmed because it was getting harder to get him jobs given the reputation he’d built for being late and other things,” Jacobs said, adding that “people were talking about his substance abuse.”
The testimony squarely contradicted one of Depp’s key allegations against his ex: that Heard wrote in a December 2018 comment The Washington Post led to him being boycotted by Hollywood. He claimed he was cut off from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise shortly after the publication of the column — which didn’t specifically name him but described “domestic abuse” in a time frame consistent with their marriage.
On Thursday, Jacobs detailed Depp’s immense popularity before his problems, which she blamed on alcohol and drug use, became a deal-breaker for studios.
Depp received $25 million in upfront backend compensation for starring in 2017 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, according to Jacobs. She said his deal for Murder on the Orient Expressreleased the same year, grossed him “$5 million for four consecutive weeks [of work] plus a great backend that he later got paid a lot of money for.”
When asked if Depp has been in a major movie since Depp fired her in 2016, Jacobs said he had been considered The Invisible Man but that Universal ended up making it “at a much lower budget with a woman.”
“At first the crews loved him because he was always so great [them]Jacobs said from the stands, “but crews don’t like to sit around for hours waiting for the star of the movie to show up. Word has gotten around town too. people talk. It’s a small community. It made people reluctant to use him towards the end.”
Tina Newman, Disney executive producer, denied Depp’s alleged injuries as a result of Heard’s comment and testified that she was unaware that the column played a role in the company’s decision not to proceed with another installment in the pirates Franchise. She pointed to emails between Disney executives Sean Bailey, Alan Horn and Alan Bergman discussing issues with Depp on and off set.
Depp’s current agent, Jack Whigham, previously testified that Depp would be paid $22.5 million to reprise his role as Jack Sparrow in the sixth film pirates film, but that Disney went in a different direction after Heard’s comment.
After his role as the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald in Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts Since the franchise is being recast, Depp hasn’t appeared in any major studio films. his latest movie Minamata, secured a US theatrical release a year after the originally planned date. Director Andrew Levitas complained that MGM, which held the North American rights to the film, would be buried Minamata because of the abuse allegations against Depp.
The jury was also shown the testimony of Adam Waldman – one of Depp’s attorneys who was thrown out of the case after leaking information protected by a protective order to the press – regarding his role in an alleged slander campaign that Depp later launched against Heard She publicly claimed that he had abused her.
Heard’s attorneys tried to get Waldman to admit to making statements to the press on Depp’s behalf alleging that Heard’s allegations of abuse were a hoax, but he was able to largely evade the questions by invoking attorney-client privilege .
In a statement to The Daily Mail, Waldman claimed that Heard “Mr. Framed Depp by calling the police,” referring to a law enforcement visit to the couple’s home, after which Heard declined to press charges of domestic violence against Depp. In another, he said, “We’ve reached the beginning of the end of Ms. Heard’s abuse scam against Johnny Depp.”
When asked if he had reason to believe Heard was lying, Waldman referred to witnesses who, following an incident in May 2016 in which Depp allegedly threw a phone at Heard, “testified in various forms at various times, that she had no injuries on her face”. and hit her. Depp has argued that Heard faked her injuries, which were used to obtain a domestic violence restraining order.
Waldman added that videos and photos provided to him by Marilyn Manson, a close friend of Depp’s, “disrupted” Heard’s claim that the actor hit her on Thanksgiving in 2013.
The jury also heard testimony from Joel Mandel, the former CEO of Depp. He described the actor’s financial collapse after his spending became “unsustainable”. This followed a statement by Jacobs in which she recounted a case in 2016 in which Depp demanded $20 million from UTA, which agency partners Jeremy Zimmer and Jim Berkus denied. UTA then secured him a loan.
Depp sued Mandel and his other former managers for $25 million in 2017, accusing them of stealing money from him. Joel and Robert Mandel’s The Management Group countered, claiming that Depp spent millions of dollars on multiple homes, wine and private jets, among other expenses they told him he couldn’t afford. (The cases were settled in 2018.)