'If I want to buy 15,000 cotton balls a day, it’s my thing': Johnny Depp hits out at former managers over money woes

Nick Allen
Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Depp - 2013 Rose Hartman

Johnny Depp has blamed his former business managers for his financial woes saying "If I want to buy 15,000 cotton balls a day, it’s my thing".

It was the latest salvo in a legal battle over the Hollywood star's spending that began in January when he accused his financial advisers of "gross mismanagement" and claimed they owed him $25 million.

Two weeks later The Management Group, which handled Depp's finances from 1999 until early 2016, filed a counter-action in Los Angeles seeking a trial.

They accused the actor of breach of contract and fraud, and claimed he owed them millions of dollars.

Depp was accused by the company of living an "ultra-extravagant lifestyle" and ignoring repeated warnings about his "profligate" spending.

That included that he spent $3 million on a "specially made cannon" from which the ashes of his friend the author Hunter S. Thompson were fired.

In his first public comments on the case Depp said the cost of the cannon had been underestimate and he actually spent $5 million on it.

He told the Wall Street Journal: “Why didn’t they drop me as a client if I was so out of control?

"I’ve worked very, very hard for a lot of years and trusted a lot of people, some who’ve clearly let me down. It’s my money."

David Shane, a spokesman for The Management Group, told the Wall Street Journal: "We look forward to responding to Mr Depp's latest falsehoods in our amended pleadings."

Depp, who has earned $650 million in his Hollywood career, arranged for Thompson, the flamboyant originator of gonzo journalism, to be shot out of a giant cannon in Colorado according to wishes expressed before his death.

The legal battle has also revealed that, according to the business managers, Depp's alleged spending included $75 million on 14 homes, including a French chateau, a chain of islands in the Bahamas, and a farm in Kentucky, and having wine flown in at a cost of $30,000 a month.

Depp was also said to have spent millions of dollars on a 150ft yacht and private jet travel, owned 45 luxury cars, and 200 works by artists like Warhol, Klimt, Basquiat and Modigliani.

The 53-year-old Hollywood star was also said to have employed an entourage of 40 staff around the world including full-time personal security, at a cost of $10 million a year.

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