Johnny Depp's former agent testifies about his unprofessional behavior

Johnny Depp’s former agent testifies that the actor has ‘fundamental issues with anger,’ romanticized drug culture and his ‘unprofessional behavior’ of showing up late to set and forgetting lines dimmed his star power

  • Johnny Depp’s former talent agent Tracey Jacobs testified that the actor’s star power dimmed due to bad behavior on set and his anger issues. Jacobs represented Depp for 30 years until 2016 when he fired her 
  • She said while representing Depp he became the ‘biggest star in the world’ and that he was ‘extraordinarily talented,’ but said his ‘unprofessional behavior’ became unbearable on set 
  • She said: ‘His star had dimmed, given the reputation he’d acquired due to his lateness and other things. People were talking and the question was out there about his behavior’
  • Bruce Witkin, a record producer and former close friend of Johnny Depp, testified that Depp had a jealous streak going back decades  
  •  Follow DailyMail.com’s live coverage for all the latest updates on the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard defamation trial
  • Johnny Depp‘s former talent agent testified that the actor’s star power dimmed due to bad behavior on set and his anger issues.  

    Tracey Jacobs represented Depp for 30 years until 2016 when he fired her and said while representing Depp he became the ‘biggest star in the world’ and that he was ‘extraordinarily talented’.

    Asked why Depp fired her, Jacobs said: ‘I really don’t know. He terminated essentially everyone in his life so I was along for the ride, I guess.’

    The court was read part of a deposition by Depp in which he suggested she was a ‘co-conspirator’ with somebody he sued and that she was just after the money. Jacobs said that was ‘all untrue’

    Asked if Depp was a ‘difficult’ client, she said: ‘He wasn’t initially and it became far more complicated in the last 10 years of my representing him’.

    Jacobs said the reason was Depp’s ‘unprofessional behavior,’ a phrase she said ‘covers a multitude of things.’

    She said: ‘Showing up late to set, consistently, on virtually every movie. 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, this is hurting you. And it did’.

    Even after speaking with Depp, he did not correct course.

    According to Jacobs Depp’s change in behavior was due to his increased use of alcohol and drugs.

    Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft asked if Depp ‘romanticized drug culture’. Jacobs said yes.

    Bredehoft asked: ‘Mr. Depp had fundamental issues with anger?’ Jacobs said yes

    Bredehoft asked: ‘Did that worsen over the time of your representation or relatively the same?’

    ‘Yes, it worsened over time.’

    Johnny Depp's former talent agent Tracey Jacobs testified that the actor's star power dimmed due to bad behavior on set and his anger issues

    Johnny Depp’s former talent agent Tracey Jacobs testified that the actor’s star power dimmed due to bad behavior on set and his anger issues

    Jacobs represented Depp for 30 years until 2016 when he fired her. She said while representing Depp he became the ‘biggest star in the world’ and that he was ‘extraordinarily talented,’ but said his ‘unprofessional behavior’ became unbearable on set

    The court was shown an email that Depp sent to Jacobs while in a rage that Heard was filming London Fields. The court has previously heard that Depp objected to her doing any nude scenes but they did one for her only with a body double

    The court was shown an email that Depp sent to Jacobs while in a rage that Heard was filming London Fields. The court has previously heard that Depp objected to her doing any nude scenes but they did one for her only with a body double

    Jacobs agreed that Depp was lacking patience when he didn’t get his needs met and that he started using an earpiece so people could feed him his lines.

    Jacobs said, ‘Initially crews loved him because he was always so great with the crew but crews don’t love sitting around for hours and hours waiting for the star of the movie to show up. It also got around town – people talk – and it made people reluctant to use him toward the end’

    These problems included filming the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film in Australia where his fingertip got sliced off and filming had to be shut down for several weeks.

    Jacobs said that she had numerous conversations with top Disney executives and flew to Australia twice to try and smooth things over.

    The court was shown an email that Depp sent to Jacobs while in a rage that Heard was filming London Fields.

    The court has previously heard that Depp objected to her doing any nude scenes but they did one for her only with a body double.

    Depp emailed Jacobs: ‘IT MUST BE SHUT DOWN OR I WILL SUE THEM EIGHTEEN WAYS FROM F**KING SUNDAY.’

    ‘THESE PEOPLE ARE NOBODYS IN THIS BUSINESS AND THEY SHOULD BE MADE TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE WILL RUIN THEN INSTANTLY.’

    In a follow up email Depp wrote: ‘I NEED YOU to go to the f**king harleys (Hanleys, the film producer) regarding LONDON FIELDS!!! they are going to be PREMIERING IT AT THE LONDON TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL. It is in Amber’s contract there will be NO NUDITY.’

    According to Jacobs, the emails showed Depp was ‘trying to get me to kill it,’ referring to the film, and ‘doing everything to shut this down’.

    Asked about Depp’s reputation now, she said that ‘these lawsuits don’t help.’

    ‘GIVE ME $20MILLION!’ – DEPP’S DEMAND FOR MONEY

    Jacobs said that in early 2016 Depp was in ‘financial desperation’ and that she emailed him with ‘good news’ about a loan.

    She said: ‘We were able to secure a loan for him through Bank of America when Ed White (Depp’s business manager) couldn’t get him any money and it was very helpful for him’.

    Around that time Depp signed a deal for $5million for appearing in Murder of the Orient Express and was paid $25million for Pirates 5.

    By that point Depp was not the biggest movie star in the world, Jacobs said.

    She said: ‘His star had dimmed, given the reputation he’d acquired due to his lateness and other things. People were talking and the question was out there about his behavior’, adding that included drug and alcohol use.

    Asked why Depp needed the loan in January 2016, Jacobs said that he came to her office and asked for $20million because he ‘needed the money.’

    She said: ‘He needed the money. He just expected us to do it.’

    Bredehoft said: ‘He came in and said I want you to get $20million for me?’

    Jacob said: ‘Actually it was I want you to give me $20million. The question was not asked as a loan.’

    Two other executives told Depp they were ‘not in a position to give our clients that kind of money. We’re not a bank.’

    Depp responded that they should give him the money because ‘he’d made a lot of money for us’, Jacobs said, adding that no other client made such a demand.

    Bruce Witkin, a record producer and former close friend of Johnny Depp, testified via video deposition on Thursday

    Bruce Witkin, a record producer and former close friend of Johnny Depp, testified via video deposition on Thursday

    At one point during his testimony, Witkin began vaping. This would be the second witness to vape during a deposition in this case

    At one point during his testimony, Witkin began vaping. This would be the second witness to vape during a deposition in this case 

    Depp and Witkin worked together on Depp's band The Hollywood Vampires and had known Depp closely from 1984 until recently

    Depp and Witkin worked together on Depp’s band The Hollywood Vampires and had known Depp closely from 1984 until recently

    Witkin agreed that Depp was also jealous when it came to Amber Heard. 'There were a couple of mentions if she was doing a movie with some guy,' Witkin said. 'If she was on a film or doing something he couldn't be around to see what was going on, he'd work himself up'

    Witkin agreed that Depp was also jealous when it came to Amber Heard. ‘There were a couple of mentions if she was doing a movie with some guy,’ Witkin said. ‘If she was on a film or doing something he couldn’t be around to see what was going on, he’d work himself up’

    Bruce Witkin, a record producer and former close friend of Johnny Depp, testified via video deposition on Thursday.  

    They worked together on Depp’s band The Hollywood Vampires and had known Depp closely from 1984 until recently. Witkin knew Depp closely from 1984 until recently. Witkin’s sister-in-law was Depp’s first wife, Lori Anne Allison, who he was married to from 1983 to 1985. 

    Witkin said, ‘We were (friends) until about four years ago. I considered him my best friend. We were brothers. We a have a lot in common.’

    Asked about Depp’s personal physician Dr. Kipper, Witkin said, ‘I don’t have a strong opinion of Dr. Kipper. He was a doctor brought on I believe to help him get sober. He was a sober doctor.

    ‘I thought it was a scam, I thought it was a complete rip-off but that’s just me.’

    Witkin was shown a text that says him saying: ‘I’m real worried about him and this Dr. Kipper.’

    Asked about it Witkin said: ‘I didn’t trust this guy.’

    DEPP HAD A JEALOUS STREAK GOING BACK DECADES

    Witkin knew Depp closely from 1984 until recently. Witkin's sister-in-law was Depp's first wife, Lori Anne Allison, who he was married to from 1983 to 1985

    Witkin knew Depp closely from 1984 until recently. Witkin’s sister-in-law was Depp’s first wife, Lori Anne Allison, who he was married to from 1983 to 1985

    Witkin was asked if he considered Depp romantic.  

    Witkin said, ‘Yeah I think so. Just by the way I’ve seen him act,’ adding that there was intensity and jealousy in his relationships. 

    He said the jealousy ‘goes all the way back to my sister in law. Definitely has a jealous streak in him.’

    Witkin said when Depp was younger he was jealous of actor Nicolas Case and 80s pop star Adam Ant because Depp’s ex wife knew him. 

    He said there was a few moment of jealousy with Depp’s ex Vanessa Paradis, which Witkin called ‘ridiculous.’

    ‘A lot of it was in his head and not in reality,’ Witkin said. 

    Witkin agreed that Depp was also jealous when it came to Amber Heard. 

    ‘There were a couple of mentions if she was doing a movie with some guy,’ Witkin said. ‘If she was on a film or doing something he couldn’t be around to see what was going on, he’d work himself up.

    ‘It’s deep rooted issues he’s dealing with, nothing to do with Amber, that’s my opinion.’

    Witkin said that ‘one time’ he saw bruises on Heard’s upper arm and that it looked like a grab, not a punch.’

    Witkin said that Depp told him that sobering up ‘wasn’t his cup of tea.’

    He said: ‘He didn’t believe in a higher power – he was going to do it his own way.’

    According to Witkin, Depp’s feelings about Heard were ‘not so much anger as confusion and sadness.’

    The record producer said he had seen Depp doing drugs with other Hollywood Vampire band mates including Joe Perry, who he did cocaine with in 2016 on tour.

    Witkin said that the first time he saw Depp do cocaine was in 2014 and he was ‘quite surprised as when we were kids he hated that stuff but after that I said why are you doing that, he hid it from me for a long time until 2016.’

    Asked why their friendship ended, Witkin said: ‘Honestly I don’t know. Somehow I started to feel a distance end of 2017. We had a gig, I saw him but he was really distance and f**ked up.

    ‘He wrote me this weird text saying I stabbed him the back and bad mouthed him. Just cut (me) off. Can’t get through to him, not return texts, nothing.

    ‘I think there’s some people behind the scenes talking sh*t about me because everybody tried to position themselves as his best friend. There were some lies and bullsh*t said about me which he believed.’

    Witkin added that ‘people on payroll (for Depp) wouldn’t say much. They don’t want to lose their jobs.’

    He said: ‘It’s a strange thing around people like him. Everybody wants something.’

    Judge Penney Azcarate during the 19th Day of Depp vs Heard defamation trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia

    Judge Penney Azcarate during the 19th Day of Depp vs Heard defamation trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia

    Joel Mandel, business manager with The Management Group (TMG) who used to represent Depp, also testified via video deposition on Thursday

    Joel Mandel, business manager with The Management Group (TMG) who used to represent Depp, also testified via video deposition on Thursday

    Mandel said that he represented Depp for around 13 years until he fired him in 2016. During that time Depp earned more than $600million but his finances became 'very dire' in mid 2015

    Mandel said that he represented Depp for around 13 years until he fired him in 2016. During that time Depp earned more than $600million but his finances became ‘very dire’ in mid 2015

    JOHNNY’S ‘VERY DIRE’ FINANCES 

    Joel Mandel, business manager with The Management Group (TMG) who used to represent Depp, also testified via video deposition on Thursday.

    Depp sued him for $25million in January 2017 accusing him of fraud, theft and malfeasance in his mismanagement of his business and financial interests. They settled the case.

    The lawsuit led to embarrassing details about Depp’s spending becoming public including him spending $30,000 a month on wine.

    Mandel said that he represented Depp for around 13 years until he fired him in 2016. During that time Depp earned more than $600million but his finances became ‘very dire’ in mid 2015.

    According to Mandel, from around 2010 onwards as Depp became a huge star he changed from someone who ‘liked to enjoy his wine at the end of the day’ to somebody whose alcohol consumption was ‘excessive.’

    Depp became ‘more difficult’ to meet with and it became ‘more clear there were issues with alcohol and drugs.’

    Mandel said: ‘There were stretches of time when it appeared the use of alcohol and drugs was a daily event.’

    According to Mandel, Depp lived a large lifestyle and said his ‘income was very significant, spending was very significant.’

    This included $100,000 a month on Dr. David Kipper, Depp’s personal doctor, and the nurses who looked after him and Heard.

    Depp’s security guard Jerry Judge was paid $10,000 per day, Mandel said, adding that ‘thousands of dollars a month’ went on prescription pills.

    Depp’s estate manager Kevein Murphy was paid around $250,000 a year and his assistant Stephen Deuters earned $125,000 a year.

    According to Mandel, by 2015 Depp’s finances had reached a point where he was ‘extremely concerned’ but Depp grew angry at him when he tried to explain it.

    Efforts to reign in Depp’s spending were met with promises he never followed through on.

    Mandel told the court: ‘Spending levels had grown very, very, very large and required a level of incredibly high income to be maintained and when that dropped off the disconnect became untenable.’

    According to Mandel, he told Depp that they needed $25million by the end of 2015 and that they might have to get a loan for it.

    That year was the first time Mandel couldn’t pay Depp’s taxes on time, he told the jury.

    There were a ‘variety of meetings’ about the ‘very dire financial situation’ but the tone became ‘more tense’

    Matters became contentious when Mandel told Depp he had to sell his $39million chateau in France to pay the bills. Depp refused.

    After that, in March 2016, Depp fired Mandel and TMG and later sued them both.

    Mandel finished his testimony by denying he stole $650million from Depp’s finances as the actor claimed in the lawsuit he filed against him.

    In fact, Mandel said he had stolen nothing at all from Depp.

    Johnny Depp's lawyer Adam Waldman claimed that 29 eyewitnesses could 'disprove' Heard's claims - and gave 11 for one incident alone

    Johnny Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman claimed that 29 eyewitnesses could ‘disprove’ Heard’s claims – and gave 11 for one incident alone

    Waldman was asked by one of Heard's lawyers to list the 29 witnesses he says have disproved Heard's allegations. Waldman said one example could be the incident on May 21, 2016 at Heard's Los Angeles penthouse where she claims Depp hit her with a phone

    Waldman was asked by one of Heard’s lawyers to list the 29 witnesses he says have disproved Heard’s allegations. Waldman said one example could be the incident on May 21, 2016 at Heard’s Los Angeles penthouse where she claims Depp hit her with a phone

    Johnny Depp’s lawyer claimed that 29 eyewitnesses could ‘disprove’ Heard’s claims – and gave 11 for one incident alone.

    Adam Waldman was asked by one of Heard’s lawyers to list the 29 witnesses he says have disproved Heard’s allegations.

    Waldman said one example could be the incident on May 21, 2016 at Heard’s Los Angeles penthouse where she claims Depp hit her with a phone.

    The next week she filed for divorce and a restraining order against Depp.

    Waldman said he chose this allegation because it was one of Heard’s ‘central claims’, noting that the images of her bruised face from this episode appeared on the cover of People magazine.

    According to Waldman, the two police officers who attended the incident – one of whom was trained in domestic violence – said there was ‘no damage’ to the apartment.

    Heard by contrast claimed the place had been ‘destroyed’.

    Waldman said ‘There are nine other witnesses, the majority of whom are either neutral or Miss Heard’s own witnesses who have testified in various forms that there were no injuries to her face whatsoever between 21st and 27th when there suddenly were’.

    Heard filed for her restraining order on May 27th that year, the court has heard.

    According to Waldman, the nine witnesses included Isaac Baruch who lived on the same floor as Heard and the housekeeper Hilda Vargas.

    Other people included Melanie Inglessis, Heard’s makeup artist, and Alejandro Romero, head of security at the building.

    Waldman said: ‘These people specifically have given testimony she was uninjured between 21st of May up until the 25th or 26th of May’.

    Waldman was asked about some photos that Marilyn Manson, a friend of Depp’s, sent him regarding a fight with Heard on Thanksgiving 2013.

    Waldman said: ‘I think those videos and photographs, yes, demolished her claim’.

    Waldman said that he personally made a complaint to the Los Angeles Police Department about Heard possibly committing perjury.

    He said: ‘I filed a claim with the LAPD regarding these perjurious statements Miss Heard and her best fiend Rocky Pennington made to a court’.

    Marie Sadanaga, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department who is its Domestic Violence Coordinator, explained the rules of conducting a domestic violence investigation during testimony at the trial

    Marie Sadanaga, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department who is its Domestic Violence Coordinator, explained the rules of conducting a domestic violence investigation during testimony at the trial

    Los Angeles police officers have to conduct an investigation if they see injuries on a person when responding to a domestic violence call, the court heard.

    Marie Sadanaga, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department who is its Domestic Violence Coordinator, explained the rules during testimony at the trial.

    Her questioning related to the incident in May 2016 when two cops attended Heard’s penthouse after she claims Depp threw a phone which hit her face.

    The two officers have testified they did not see injuries to Heard, who refused to cooperate or give a statement because she was ‘protecting’ Depp.

    Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredhoft asked Sadanaga: ‘If a police officer sees injuries, regardless of whether the victim cooperates, what is their obligation?’

    The detective replied: ‘To do an investigation to determine if that injury was a result of a crime.

    ‘It would include interviewing anyone at the scene. Any type of physical evidence, altercation…just doing a thorough investigation’.

    Bredehoft asked what difference it would make it a witness ‘took officers through the entire premises and showed broken glass, spilled wine and a number of areas of disturbance, what would officers’ obligations be?’

    The question appeared to refer to Heard’s former friend Josh Drew who did just that.

    Sadanaga said: ‘Officers would still need to determine if there was enough evidence there to determine if this injury is a result of the crime’.

    She added that ‘officers need to do an investigation if there is a visible injury’.

    Sadanaga said that even if the officers determine there was no crime, the purpose of domestic violence reports is that there will be documentation if something similar happens again.

    She said: ‘We know with domestic violence there is a series of incidents that happen and not all of those are crimes.

    ‘We document those, we can go back and say there have been all these other incidents.’

    Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s caustic relationship 

    February 3, 2015

    Johnny Depp and Amber Heard marry in a private civil ceremony at their LA home, four years after they met as co-stars on the set of The Rum Diary. The couple celebrate with a lavish reception on an idyllic private island in the Bahamas that Depp bought in 2004 for $3.6 million.

    April 21, 2015

    Heard breaches Australia’s biosecurity laws when she and Depp fail to declare their two Yorkshire terriers when they arrive Down Under on a private jet for the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Heard admits falsifying quarantine documents and is placed on a $1,000 one-month good behavior bond.

    May 23, 2016

    Heard files for divorce after 15 months of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. Four days later a judge issues a temporary restraining order against Depp over domestic violence allegations. Pictures of Heard’s alleged injuries hit the tabloids but the LAPD finds no evidence of a crime.

    August 16, 2016

    Depp and Heard reach a $7 million divorce settlement which the actress promises to give to charity. Their marriage was ‘intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love,’ the former lovers say in a statement. ‘There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm’.

    December 18, 2018

    The Washington Post publishes an op-ed by Heard, an ambassador for women’s rights at for the American Civil Liberties Union, urging support for women who suffer domestic violence. ‘Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out,’ reads the headline.

    March 1, 2019

    Despite not being named in the article, Depp files a $50 million defamation suit in Fairfax Circuit Court, Virginia saying it implied he was an abuser and got him fired from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Depp dismisses Heard’s abuse allegations as a ‘hoax’ and claims he was actually the victim of her violence.

    August 10, 2020

    Heard countersues for $100 million, claiming vengeful Depp and his lawyer Adam Waldman targeted her with a vicious smear campaign, using media allies and internet trolls to amplify false stories about her and derail her acting career.

    November 1, 2020

    Depp faces an uphill battle to save his reputation after he loses a libel battle with a British tabloid that labeled him a ‘wife beater’. A judge in London’s rules that The Sun’s 2018 article was ‘substantially true’ and that the father-of-two had attacked Heard a dozen times, causing her to fear for her life on three occasions.

    April 11, 2022

    After lengthy delays due to the Covid pandemic, the former flames finally lock horns in Fairfax County, Virginia where the Washington Post servers that published the disputed op-ed are based. 

    Advertisement