Maria linked to The Hollywood Reporter’s new Johnny Depp cover story yesterday in Celebrity Social Media. It’s a deep-dive piece and at the time of that post, many people hadn’t had a chance to read it and fully absorb all the bombshells. And there are, indeed, some bombshells.
But let’s start with The Hollywood Reporter putting this article, written by Tatiana Siegel, out there in the first place. THR is an industry trade – it’s read by many people who work in Hollywood, who do business in Hollywood: studio executives, producers, agents, publicists, crew, actors. THR reporters are well-connected, have established sources, and have built connections with Hollywood players both in front of and behind the camera. This, then, is not the National Enquirer or even PEOPLE. This is a publication by and for the film and television industry putting a major movie star on the cover, calling him “radioactive”, and reporting on his “implosion”. So it’s not just a statement about how industry insiders feel about it, it’s also a warning to the industry about the risk of working with Johnny Depp. Johnny Depp may not be the power player he was five years ago but he’s not inconsequential. He’s still, the last time I checked, repped by Bryan Lourd, the top agent at CAA, so the fact that THR went in on this is, well, interesting in and of itself. The risk they’ve taken then is also a sign of Johnny’s current status in the business. And that’s the article’s big thesis: that Johnny Depp’s brand, once “one of the world’s most bankable stars”, has been so dramatically devalued. THR’s position is that he’s largely to blame for it and that he’s so desperate to fault others, he may be resorting to some dangerous and irresponsible actions.
Because there’s so much more here than the situation with Amber Heard. There’s a lot here that has nothing to do with Amber Heard. It’s his behaviour – the rage, the drugs, the outrageous celebrity demands, the work ethic…or lack thereof. An example of this is his reliance on his “sound technician”, basically a person who operates his earpiece when he’s shooting “so he doesn’t have to learn his lines”.
A casual gossip consumer may not pay much attention to that detail but if you’re in the industry and you’re finding out that Johnny Depp, with his gigantic paycheques, can’t be bothered to learn his lines and insists on hundreds of thousands of dollars being added to production budgets to pay for his “sound technician” because the #1 on the call sheet needs to be fed his lines…well… to say it’s not a good look is an understatement.
About the gossip though, the biggest gossip takeaway for a lot of us is this paragraph referring to yet another lawsuit that Johnny has pending in Virginia against Amber Heard, having just lost one in England against The Sun:
“What's remarkable is that Depp is about to embark on the same mission with his $50 million defamation suit against Heard in Virginia. The process will likely be even more intrusive and end up sucking other high-profile figures into the vortex. (Depp is obligated to produce "all responsive communications" with former romantic partners including Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightley and Marion Cotillard.)”
Former romantic partners? Angelina, Keira, and Marion?
They’ve all co-starred with Johnny as his love interests ON-SCREEN but… it’s suggested here that there were also off-screen situations here too…which… really?! Angelina and Brad Pitt were still together during The Tourist – and he was there during filming, as was Vanessa Paradis, because she and Johnny hadn’t split yet then either. Marion Cotillard was already seriously involved with Guillaume Canet when she and Johnny worked together on Public Enemies and how old was Keira when all this allegedly went down?!
If he moves ahead with this court case, these are apparently some of the questions that might be answered? If it’s at all relevant, that is. There are no further details in THR’s piece about why Johnny’s “responsive communications” with these women have been requested but the point they’re making about the collateral damage of his vengeful and arguably unjustified litigiousness is there – Johnny Depp has made a mess of himself and his mess is oozing its way around town.
While it remains to be seen whether or not Angelina, Keira, and Marion were actually his “former romantic partners”, one confirmed ex-girlfriend, Ellen Barkin, has gone on record in the court filings to say that he threw a wine bottle at her. Ellen has supported Amber Heard through her experience and Johnny countered in court in the UK this past summer when he said that Ellen holds a grudge against him because… wait for it – she liked him and he didn’t like her back. Classic.
It’s interesting though that Ellen revealing in a deposition that Johnny once threw a bottle at her hasn’t made major headlines.
But where headlines are concerned, and the information and misinformation that gets out there about Johnny, that too is worth discussing. While Ellen Barkin’s account of Johnny’s alleged violence hasn’t gotten much play, what a lot of people online have heard is an audio recording of Johnny and Amber, during which Amber appears to be the aggressor. It’s not exactly known how that tape found its way onto the internet but THR has a detail about it in the section of their article about Johnny’s disturbingly intense fanbase which is particularly active on Twitter – note the highlighted section below:
“[Depp’s fans] are among the most loyal and shrill on Twitter. They heap praise on the actor, eviscerate anyone associated with Heard, and have posted exclusive audio recordings of the couple fighting (albeit edited in a way that favors the actor). But many who have battled Depp question whether the army is real or high-end bots. Kaplan believes it's a combination of the two, with bots amplifying what real fans post.”
There are a lot of people who point to this tape as slamdunk evidence that Amber has been lying this whole time. Despite the existence of this tape though, and whatever other “evidence” Johnny’s legal team presented in the trial, the judge in the UK overwhelming ruled in favour of The Sun and, by extension, Amber Heard. Which at the very least casts doubt on whether or not the version of the tape that exists online is a complete and factual representation of the actual conversation.
How it leaked, though, and the way it spread is suspicious. Speaking of suspicious, one of the most controversial figures to have emerged from Johnny Depp’s scandal is his lawyer, Adam Waldman. When he entered Johnny’s life, Johnny started cutting ties with many of his longtime trusted associates who over the course of his career had guided him to so much success. Adam Waldman has worked with “Russian oligarchs and Julian Assange”. And has connections to Saudi billionaires and other underground international power brokers.
Bots wreaking havoc on social media? Russians? Mysterious and shadowy agents…
It’s no wonder the name “Trump” came up in this Johnny Depp article. Multiple times, in fact.
THR doesn’t come right out and say it, but there’s a heavy waft of super shady, and terrifying activity here. And then there’s this paragraph quoting Roberta Kaplan, Time’s Up’s Legal Defense co-founder, an advisor to Amber Heard:
"My firm is involved in a lot of controversial cases," she says. "Our clients are suing the white supremacists and neo-Nazis responsible for the violence in Charlottesville. I have clients who are suing Donald Trump. But, by far, the one case [of ours] that has generated the greatest amount of hostile social media attacks is Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard. Not even close."
This, to me, is the gossip that could potentially have the most long-lasting consequences. If you haven’t already, click here to read the full article at The Hollywood Reporter about “The Implosion”.