Johnny DeppHis longtime agent testified Thursday that his star power has declined over the years due to his erratic behavior, and that at one point he asked his agent to give him $20 million because he needed the money.
Tracey Jacobs, a senior agent at the United Talent Agency, represented Depp for 30 years until he fired her in 2016 — along with his longtime lawyer and manager company. Jacobs appeared in video testimony on the 19th day of Depp’s defamation trial against his ex. wife, amber heardwho accused him of ruining his career with false allegations of domestic violence.
Jacobs testified that Depp was habitually late for the past 10 years she represented him. He eventually gained a reputation for making it harder for him to find work, she said.
“Initially, the staff liked him,” she said. “He always got on well with the crew. But the crew didn’t like to sit for hours waiting for a star to show up.”
Jacobs said she was sometimes scolded for trying to convince her client that he was hurting his career. Additionally, she noticed an increase in alcohol and drug use. At one point, she said Depp had always been “the biggest star in the world,” but by the time he fired her in October 2016, that was no longer the case.
“His star has faded as it gets harder and harder to find work,” Jacobs said. “People are talking. The problem is his behavior.”
Heard’s lawyers also called Depp’s former business manager Joel Mandel to testify about his runaway spending. Mandel, who also appears in the video, testified that after the success of 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean, Depp began to live a “bigger” and “more expensive life.” But in later years, Depp’s earnings declined because several other films didn’t do the same.
“Spending levels have grown very, very, very large,” Mandel said. “It needs to maintain this incredibly high income level. When it drops, the disconnect becomes untenable.”
In 2015, Mandel warned Depp that his finances were “terrible” and urged him to cut spending and sell his French chateau. While Depp seemed to understand this at times, Mandel said there was little follow-up in the end. Depp fired Mandel in March 2016 and later sued him.mandel’s company counterclaim, claiming Depp was responsible for his financial problems and documenting a slew of extravagant spending. The lawsuit was settled in 2018.
Jacobs said in her testimony that Depp came to UTA and asked them to give him $20 million. He met with UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer and chairman Jim Berkus, but they refused to do so.
“They said we couldn’t give our customers that kind of money,” Jacobs testified. “We are not a bank.”
She testified that Depp didn’t specify why he needed the money, but did say he made a lot of money for the agency over the years. The agency eventually helped him get a loan from Bank of America, she said.
Jacobs also said Depp’s image has been tarnished by a series of lawsuits he has brought.
“These lawsuits don’t help,” she said. “It’s not over.”
Heard’s lawyers also played testimony from actor Alan Barkin, who recounted how he had a brief sexual relationship with Depp in the 1990s. Barkin recalls Depp throwing a wine bottle in her direction in a Las Vegas hotel room. She said Depp was often angry and controlling.
“He was just a jealous guy — controlling,” she said. “‘Where are you going? Who are you going with? What did you do last night?'”
Disney production chief Tina Newman also testified on behalf of the company. She was asked about a series of emails in which Disney executives shared news articles related to Depp’s financial mess. On one, a Disney executive wrote simply “sad.”
However, Newman said the executives did not comment on Hurd’s Washington Post, which calls herself a “public figure representing domestic abuse,” and did not mention it in any messages. Depp alleges in his lawsuit that Disney fired him from the sixth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film — which has yet to be made — because of the op-ed. Newman said she didn’t know of anyone at Disney who said Depp wouldn’t be in the movie because of the op-ed.