Johnny Depp's 'Whole World Has Been Flipped Around' After Legal Battle, Source Says
For Johnny Depp, the bad news just keeps on coming.
On November 2, a court in the U.K. ruled against the actor, saying a tabloid was justified in using the phrase "wife beater" in a 2018 article about the star and his ex Amber Heard, who has accused him of physical abuse. (Depp strenuously denies the claims.)
Four days later, he took to Instagram to announce he'd been fired from the Fantastic Beasts movie trilogy. "I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros.," he revealed in a letter to fans, "and I have respected and agreed to that wish." He added that he was planning to file an appeal in the court case and continue to do whatever it takes to repair his tarnished reputation. "My life and career," he wrote, "will not be defined by this moment in time."
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But some people close to him say it may be too late for the star. "Johnny went from being a Hollywood icon who everybody admired and wanted to be, to a sad and sorry figure of a man clinging to the remnants of his shattered image," an insider exclusively tells OK!, adding that after burning through much of his $650 million fortune, Depp, 57, can't help but feel like he's lost it all.
"Between his bombshell abuse case with Amber, his financial crisis and being dropped from his latest film, Johnny's whole world has been flipped around," continues the insider. "His demons have taken him down, and he says he feels haunted by his mistakes."
After getting his big break on the 1980s cop series 21 Jump Street, Depp became one of the industry's most sought-after stars.
A reluctant heartthrob, he initially leaned towards offbeat roles in films like Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood. By the late '90s and early 2000s, he was a major box office draw.
"Johnny is so talented, and anyone who spent any length of time with him on set could see that," says the insider. "His roles are so vast, and even when the movie wasn't a hit, Johnny was always great in it."
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Behind the scenes, personal tragedy, relationship woes and struggles with drug and alcohol addiction reined. For years, Depp carried the weight of his friend River Phoenix's death on his shoulders: In 1993, rising star Phoenix, then 23, died from a drug overdose outside Depp's Los Angeles club, The Viper Room.
According to the insider, there were even rumors Depp was the one who administered the fatal dose to Phoenix himself. "Imagine living with that," Depp once said of the hurtful whispers.
The actor's world changed for the better when he met French singer Vanessa Paradis in 1998. "I saw her across a room and thought, 'What's happening to me?'" he later recalled of their first meeting. "My life as a single man was done." Together, Depp and Paradis moved to the south of France and quietly raised their two children, Lily Rose, 21, and Jack, 18.
"Johnny still misses those lazy long afternoons, sipping red wine at the village café, playing with his children and gazing through the open windows," says the insider. "It was a good life until everything spiraled out of control."
Depp and Paradis announced their split in 2012 after 14 years together. "It was a very painful time," the actor later said. He was thrilled to find love again with Amber, 34, after they starred in 2011's The Rum Diary, but their happiness was short-lived: After saying "I do" in 2015 on his private island, they split just 15 months later.
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The divorce soon got ugly, with Heard alleging Depp had abused her and would often lash out in fits of jealous rage. (She has said he accused her of having an affair with her former costar, James Franco, and with Tesla CEO Elon Musk.) Depp hit back, claiming the Aquaman actress had physically assaulted him and was dead-set on ruining his life.
Meanwhile, in 2018, court papers from a lawsuit Depp filed against his former management company revealed the extent of his debt and crazy spending habits. "He spent hundreds of thousands on private jets, cases of fine wine and staff and security for his family," dishes the insider. The star is even said to be desperately trying to sell the private island he paid $3.6 million for in 2004. "No wonder he dug himself into a financial hole."
Now, Depp's gearing up for an appeal in his U.K. libel case and another legal showdown with Heard over his $50 million defamation suit against her for a 2018 op-ed she wrote about domestic violence.
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Regardless of the fallout, the insider says he's finally beginning to see the reality of his situation. "It's dawning on Johnny that Hollywood is turning his back on him," says the insider. Still, he won't back down, and his die-hard fans continue to post messages of support on social media.
"He feels emboldened by the encouragement from his fans and has vowed to keep fighting," says the insider. "Johnny wants to clear his name once and for all."