Johnny Depp ‘romanticised’ drugs and has ‘fundamental issues with anger’, former agent says

Tracey Jacobs, who was Mr Depp’s agent for 30 years, claimed that his increasingly ‘difficult’ reputation meant people around Hollywood grew ‘reluctant’ to work with him

Rachel Sharp
Thursday 19 May 2022 18:08 BST
Former agent says Johnny Depp ‘romanticised’ drugs and has ‘fundamental issues with anger’

Johnny Depp “romanticised” drugs and had “fundamental issues with anger”, according to his former agent who testified in the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s multi-million-dollar defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Tracey Jacobs gave video testimony to the court in Fairfax, Virginia, on Thursday morning where she claimed that his increasingly “difficult” reputation meant people around Hollywood grew “reluctant” to work with him and his “star dimmed”.

Ms Jacobs said she was Mr Depp’s agent for 30 years of his career, helping to make him “the biggest star in the world” before they suddenly parted ways in 2016.

Over the last 10 years of working together, she testified that Mr Depp’s “unprofessional behaviour” increased because of his increased abuse of drugs and alcohol.

During that time, she testified that she noticed that Mr Depp “romanticised the entire drug culture” and had “fundamental issues with anger” which she said “worsened over time”.

Her testimony casts doubts on Mr Depp’s claim that he was dropped from the latest instalment of the Pirates movie franchise and has lost prospective film roles because of his ex-wife’s allegations of abuse.

Mr Depp is suing his ex-wife for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she penned for The Washington Post where she described herself as a “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor is not named in the article, which is titled “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.

However Mr Depp claims that it falsely implies that he is a domestic abuser – something that he strongly denies – and that it has left him struggling to land roles in Hollywood. He is suing for $50m.

Ms Heard is countersuing for $100m, accusing Mr Depp of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.

According to Ms Jacobs’ testimony, Mr Depp was getting an increasingly negative reputation in Hollywood that meant producers were “reluctant to use him” in their movies.

“Showing up late to set consistently on virtually every movie,” she said.

“I would get yelled at. I never said to him, ‘you’re a difficult client’ but I was very honest with him and said ‘you’ve got to stop doing this it’s hurting you’. And it did.”

Over time, Mr Depp increasingly relied on ear pieces for people to feed him his lines during movies, she said.

During filming for the fifth installment of the Pirates franchise, Ms Jacobs confirmed that she fielded complaints about his “lateness” and “not showing up”.

She recalled travelling to Australia twice during filming for the movie due to issues and confirmed that the movie was suspended for several weeks while Mr Depp had surgery on his finger.

She said that no one at Disney ever confirmed that he would appear in a sixth instalment of Pirates.

When asked about the end of their working relationship, Ms Jacobs said that she didn’t know why he terminated her but added that “he terminated essentially everyone in his life so I was along for the ride I guess”.

Mr Depp testified in his 2020 UK libel case against The Sun that he dropped his agent because “her interests were quite different than when we started”.

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