It wasn’t all that long ago that Johnny Depp was one of the most beloved and sought-after talents in Hollywood.
But those days have been washed away in a tidal wave and enough rum to keep the Black Pearl afloat.
At this point in his career, Depp is at best a walking punchline and at worst a menacing threat to loved ones and co-workers.
And lately, the public image so carefully constructed by his many handlers has been crumbling faster than ever, in large part because the managers, handlers, and security guards who have served as the living barrier between Depp and the press have been abandoning their posts in fear for their professional reputations and in some cases, their lives.
Just last week, several bodyguards filed suit against Depp claiming that he created a “toxic and unsafe” work environment in which hard drug use and reckless misuse of firearms were daily occurrences.
(Someone should tell Johnny he can stop studying up for that Hunter S. Thompson role anytime now.)
And because Depp’s specialty these days is finding new rock bottoms, this week brought news of yet another violent incident:
While filming the movie LAbyrinth in Los Angeles, Depp decided to take over directing a scene set on an actual city street, even going so far as to cast two of his friends in significant roles.
It went about as well as you would expect:
“Johnny’s friends were in the scene, and it just turned into way more than it should have been,” a production insider on set tells Page Six.
Sources say the day went long, and the shooting permit expired, but Depp refused to stop filming.
When a location manager informed director Brad Furman that the scene needed to wrap immediately, Furman responded, “Tell that to Johnny Depp!”
One crew member decided to do exactly that, approaching Depp and telling plainly, “This is the last shot.”
At that point, Depp – who, according to the witness, had been “smoking and drinking all day on set” – became irate and started shouting at the crew member.
“He was 6 inches away, yelling, ‘Who are you? You have no right!’”
When the crew member calmly attempted to defuse the situation, Depp reportedly swung on him, landing a “weak blow” to the ribs that had little effect.
But Depp didn’t stop there, of course.
He allegedly continued to berate the crew member and challenge him to fisticuffs, at one point bellowing, “I’ll give you $ 100,000 to punch me right now!”
Depp’s camp has yet to comment on the situation, but his
“Johnny Depp is a consummate professional, great collaborator and a supporter of other artists,” he said in a statement.
“He always treats the crew and people around him with the utmost respect. Movies can be stressful, and nonevents often become exaggerated. We all love stories — there isn’t one here.”
This is just the latest in a long line of professional entanglements for Depp who’s currently being sued by his former management team after alleging that the group brought him to the brink of bankruptcy.
The firm says Depp’s financial issues have more to do with his $ 30,000 a month wine habit.
We’re no legal experts but that sounds like a solid argument.