Johnny Depp’s ex-agent has told a court the star was a difficult client who prompted complaints that prompted her to fly to Australia for “discussions” with him.
Johnny Depp’s longtime agent tells a court the star was an extremely ‘difficult’ client who had ‘core anger issues’ and drew numerous complaints from film crews on ‘virtually every film’ which he was working on.
United Talent Agency’s Tracey Jacobs represented Depp as his agent for three decades until he cut ties with her in October 2016.
Ms Jacobs’ pre-recorded video deposition was released during Depp’s libel trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard in Fairfax County Court in Virginia on Thursday.
Ms Jacobs testified that Depp became “the biggest star in the world” while they worked together. At first, she didn’t consider him a “difficult client”, she says. But that changed drastically in her last 10 years representing him when his “unprofessional behavior…became much more complicated”, Ms Jacobs added.
Forced to travel to Australia to talk to Depp
The court heard Ms Jacobs was forced to travel to Australia twice while Depp worked on Pirates of the Caribbean 5to “talk” to him in response to complaints about his behavior made by the film crew.
The Hollywood power broker said he ‘consistently showed up late’ to ‘virtually every movie’ he worked on and she believed it was a result of his increased alcohol and drug use .
“I told him ‘you have to stop doing this, it hurts you’, and it happened,” Ms Jacobs said, adding that Depp had not taken her advice.
“Early on, Crews liked him because he was always great with the Crew. But Crews don’t like to sit around for hours and hours waiting for the star to show up.
“The word got around. It made people reluctant to use it towards the end.
Ms Jacobs told the court Depp allegedly had “basic anger issues” which she said got worse over time, but she never saw him hit a woman.
She also alleged that on one occasion the star ‘demanded’ that Ms Jacobs give him – and not a loan – US$20m (Aus$28m) from the agency, saying he deserved it because of the money he had made for them over the years. .
He eventually “terminated virtually everyone in his life”, including Jacobs, as his drug and alcohol abuse escalated, she said.
“Depp’s star has faded”
Jacobs also testified that no one at Disney had committed to hiring Depp for the sixth installment of the “Pirates” franchise in conversations with her. “(Depp’s) star has faded,” she said.
“People were talking and the question was out there about his behavior.”
As the fifth week of the trial draws to a close, Jacobs’ testimony casts doubt on Depp’s claims that his career has been affected by Heard’s domestic violence allegations which he says are false.
Other witnesses who for Heard, including her sister, her former best friend and a makeup artist, bolstered her defense of the truth when they testified Wednesday that they saw her with black eyes, a broken lip and bloody patches of missing hair after a series of alleged beatings by Depp.
Depp arrived at a rock star reception – which became a daily occurrence during the trial – where crowds of superfans gathered outside the court and shouted “we love you Johnny” on Thursday morning. The majority of people who secured a seat inside the courtroom after waiting in line for hours also appeared to be Depp supporters, with dozens of them waving desperately to him as he entered the room at the beginning of the day.
Heard testified Monday that she filed for divorce from the Pirates of the Caribbean star in May 2016 because she feared for her life.
“I had to leave him,” Heard said. “I knew I wouldn’t survive if I didn’t. I was so scared that it would end really badly for me. Heard said Depp would become a physically and sexually abusive “monster” when he drank, and that his efforts to cut down on his drug and alcohol use proved futile.
“The monster had been this thing that was now the normal and not the exception,” she told the seven-person jury hearing the case in Fairfax, Virginia. “The violence was now normal.” Depp, 58, during his four days on the witness stand, denied ever hitting Heard and claimed it was she who was often violent.
Depp sued Heard over an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic violence.”
Heard, who had a starring role in Aquaman, did not name Depp in the op-ed, but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and is asking for $50 million (A$72 million ) damages.
Heard, born in Texas, fought back, demanding US$100m (Australian $144m) and claiming she suffered “endemic violence and physical abuse” at his hands.
Judge Penney Azcarate has scheduled closing arguments in the case for May 27, after which it will go to the jury.
Depp’s lawyers put experts on the stand who testified he lost millions from the abuse charges, including a $22.5 million salary for a sixth installment of “Pirates.” Depp brought the libel suit in the US after losing another libel case in London in November 2020 which he brought against The Sun for calling him a ‘wife beater’.
Three-time Oscar nominee Depp and Heard met in 2009 on the set of The Rum Diary and married in February 2015. Their divorce was finalized two years later.
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