The 55-year-old actor covers the November issue of British GQand invites writer Greg Williams to his villa in the French countryside. Depp delves into everything from his troubled divorce from actress Amber Heard, his legacy on film and if he's open to finding love again.
Read on for Depp's seven biggest revelations:
1. He denies being violent with Amber Heard and says he will never stop defending himself.
Depp talks at length about his ex-wife, Amber Heard's, allegations that he abused her throughout their relationship. The 32-year-old actress filed for divorce from Depp in May 2016, accusing him of being "verbally and physically abusive" in court documents. The pair reached a settlement in August 2016, and their divorce was finalized in January 2017. Depp has denied the abuse allegations.
"Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love," Depp and Heard said in a joint statement following the 2016 settlement. "Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains. There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm."
In the interview, Depp specifically brings up a video recording published by TMZin August 2016 that appears to show him grabbing the phone out of Heard's hand after pouring himself a large glass of wine. Depp alleges the video was not recent, and that it was taken out of context.
“It’s not about being a role model. No, it’s not that at all," Depp says. "The tape that came out, or the tape that someone made, that miraculously appeared on YouTube, taken from someone’s phone. That was not downtown [L.A., where he lived with Heard]. She wanted to make like it was recent. It was an older video and [what happened in it] had to do with finding out that I had lost hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars.”
“The thing that hurt me is being presented as something that you’re really as far away from as you could possibly get, you know?" he continues. "To harm someone you love? As a kind of bully? No, it didn’t, it couldn’t even sound like me. So, initially, I just kept my mouth shut, you know? I knew it was going to stick on me and it would get weirder. Keep going, you know? Go nuts. I ain’t going to get into a pissing contest with someone about it. Spit out what you need to spit out and, you know, my attorneys will take care of the rest. I never went out and spoke about the sh**."
“She was at a party the next day," Depp alleges. "Her eye wasn’t closed. She had her hair over her eye, but you could see the eye wasn’t shut. Twenty-five feet away from her, how the f**k am I going to hit her? Which, by the way, is the last thing I would’ve done. I might look stupid, but I ain’t f**king stupid.”
Depp says he will never stop defending himself against the abuse allegations.
“We probably shouldn’t be talking about this, but I am worried," Depp says. "I worry about the people that bought it and I worry about her. It’s just not right. I will never stop fighting. I’ll never stop. They’d have to f**king shoot me. An episode like this takes time to get over. It’s a mourning for someone you thought was..."
When Williams asks if he was going to call Heard "the love of his life," Depp replies, “Well, something. I did marry her somehow.”
2. He was most hurt by how his kids were affected by the abuse allegations.
“Of course I care what my family and my kids think," Depp says. "I mean, you realize right away, essentially, that what is being done is the commencement of what they hope is to be your funeral.”
“And worse than that, to take away future earnings that are for my kids, you know?" he continues. "I do this sh** for my kids, man. How could someone, anyone, come out with something like that against someone, when there’s no truth to it whatsoever? I’m sure it wasn’t easy for my 14-year-old boy to go to school, you know what I mean? With people going, ‘Hey, look at this magazine, man. What, your dad beats up chicks or something?’ Why did he have to go through that? Why did my daughter have to go through that?"
Depp tells the magazine that these days, he's not dating anyone, and Williams describes him as sounding "somewhat relieved."
The actor later succinctly replies "yeah," when asked if being single feels good, and a simple "no" when asked if he thinks about wanting to find love ever again.
4. He calls the explosive Rolling Stone profile on him a "sham."
Depp is not surprisingly critical of the Rolling Stone article published in June, which had fans concerned about both his health and financial troubles. Depp talked candidly about dealing with severe depression and was open about past drug use and his drinking habits.
“I was shafted," Depp says of the article. "The guy [journalist Stephen Rodrick] walked in with absolutely one intention. And I could see it and I thought maybe I could help him understand, you know? I trusted Jann Wenner [co-founder and publisher of Rolling Stone], as I knew him through Hunter [S. Thompson, the late writer, and a mentor to Depp]. I trusted what the magazine stood for, or what it used to stand for. I wanted Jann to see if he could write, to see if a piece could be written... to put things in perspective. That’s all, just to put things in perspective.”
5. He believes there's a conspiracy when it comes to his financial troubles.
Depp is similarly open about the highly publicized lawsuits concerning his finances. In July, Depp settled his $25 million lawsuit against his former business managers, The Management Group (TMG). The actor's lawsuit was filed in January 2017 and accused TMG of fraud, theft and malfeasance in its mismanagement of his business and financial interests. Depp sought $25 million in damages, including years worth of professional fees. The Management Group, led by Joel and Robert Mandel, then filed a countersuit alleging that Depp was responsible for his own financial hardship, and noted that he spent millions of dollars on wine, luxury homes, household staff, art, private jets, security and a cannon to blast Thompson’s ashes.
“My belief was that I needed to not envelop myself in the notion of money, how much I was making, how much was there," Depp tells GQ of his mindset. "I just knew that I was making enough money in salary and back-end that everything should be tickety-boo. Nothing should have gone as sideways as it did. And when I found out, that is when the war began. It was from every angle. The judge, you know, called them on all the petty personal allegations and said you are trying to decapitate this man in a public forum. That is not what you do.”
“But did it stop all the power mongers in Hollywood who were interested in shutting me up?" he continues. "Big money was being thrown about. People suing me at every opportunity. I mean, it’s all so obvious. Listen, I know I was never going to be Cinderella -- I know this and accept it. But it felt like within a very, very short period of time that suddenly this version -- for lack of a better word -- of Cinderella had been immediately turned into the beast. He’s Quasimodo."
Depp says he later felt unfairly judged.
“I could feel people look at me differently, because of the accusations towards you," he says. "And then people start putting things in magazines: ‘He’s insane. He needs to take a sanity test...’ You know, ludicrous stuff. But the only thing that I could do was know what I still know. Ultimately, the truth will come out in all of this and I will be standing on the right side of the roaring rapids. I hope other people will be too. I know the truth and if I had to walk away from all of it today, the job, the career, all of it, and go toodle-oo, then fine."
“I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone, because I’ve never been in competition with anyone," he adds. "I don’t buy into that sh**. I’m not interested in receiving any spray-painted action figures. You know, maybe whatever this thing is, whatever I leave behind, you know, my legacy to my kids or the people, I haven’t watched 98 percent of that sh**. It may be completely insane. It may be crap. It may be interesting. I don’t f**king know what it is. But what I do know is that I did something, and I tried something different, for a period of years. Did it work? Who the f**k knows? But I did it and I’m fine to stop."
6. He says Disney initially wanted to fire him off Pirates of the Caribbean
On a lighter note, Depp talks about his most famous role, playing Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney's highly successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Though Depp's portrayal of the character is now iconic, he says Disney was definitely not a fan at first.
“Disney hated me," he claims. "[They were] thinking of every way they could to get rid of me, to fire me. ‘Oh, we’re going to have to subtitle him.’ ‘We don’t understand Captain Jack Sparrow. What’s wrong with him?’ ‘What’s wrong with his arms?’ ‘Is he drunk?’ ‘Is he mentally f**king stupefied?’ ‘Is he gay?’ ... ‘What is it, Johnny? Is he gay?’ My tendency, of course, is to be irreverent so I said, 'Didn’t you know all my characters are gay?’ That was a pretty abrupt end to the conversation. And I just continued shaping Jack the way I believed was best.”
“I told them, ‘Look, you don’t like what I’m doing, fire me. You hired me to do a job and play the character and this is what I want to do,'" he continues. "This is the work. I mean, hadn’t they seen any of the work I’d done previously? You might want to take a look at that before you hire a motherf**ker, you know?"
Depp claims that the actors on set also weren't sure what to make of his unconventional performance. Still, he says he never wavered.
“I knew I was right," he says. "Even the very first time when they came back to me saying, ‘No, no, what is this?’ it felt right. Even when the other actors were looking at me like I was an absolute menace, I stayed with it. I mean, the older actors were probably thinking, ‘Jesus Christ, he’s wrecked.’ Because I would tear up the script on set. I’d go rogue. I’d fly for a little bit to see where things went. And not everyone appreciates this way of working. Oliver Stone didn’t appreciate it when I changed all the lines he wrote for me in Platoon and that’s no doubt probably why most of my stuff ended up on the cutting-room floor.”
7. He explains why he snuck an X-rated term into Pirates of the Caribbean
Depp talks about saying "Dirty Sanchez" in one of the earlier Pirates of the Caribbean films, referring to an obscene sex act.
"Yeah, I [said] it in Pirates and they never caught it when it went out to the theaters,” Depp says with a laugh. “They caught it when it went to DVD. I did it because I wanted to see who would be the one at Disney to find it...”
"Johnny has suffered the most painfully difficult couple years of his life and part of him just wants for people to know he is a good guy,” the source said. “He actually feels the need to write a memoir not just to understand himself and the pain he has experienced, but also to share with the world that in real life he is not a villain.”