Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Fred was even too cheap
to buy a shirt.
During the 1930s and '40s, people laughed when Fred MacMurray showed up at the Paramount commissary every day with a bag lunch of a sandwich and an apple from home. What a cheapskate! A cheapskate who eventually became Bob Hope-rich.

Yet those misguided folks who were chuckling then would probably nod in approval when this headline appeared in the New York Post yesterday: JOHNNY DEPP SPENT $30K A MONTH ON WINE: EX-MANAGER.

You might think with that kind of bar tab, Depp was an alcoholic surpassing his legendary late friend Hunter Thompson. More likely, though, he merely had extravagant tastes. That's certainly the belief of Joel and Robert Mandel, the owners of the cleverly-named The Management Group, which has handled Depp's dough for many years.

Depp's financials came to light when he sued TMG for mishandling his money. TMG, in turn, claims its client handled the mishandling, and had the Excel sheets to prove it. Now that it's tax time and we're aware of our own finances, the lawsuit makes for interesting reading.

Hunter Thompson, happy at last.
Three million to shoot ashes from a cannon? That, friends, is someone who has more money than he knows what to do with. I mean, don't you wish you could drop four mill on a failed record label? 

This kind of behavior is reminiscent of many people who hit the lottery, and wind up broke in two years. Perhaps it's understandable. Depp, having come from a poor, unstable background (his family moved 20 times by the time he was seven), went from being, among other things, a telemarketer for pens, to the cover of teen magazines in a fairly rapid amount of time. He's pulled down roughly $280-million for his last 13 movies; his personal worth is estimated at $400-million. 

But apparently that isn't enough to live on if you're Johnny Depp. TMG recently warned him that to remain solvent, he would have to sell his property in France... which happens to be an entire village. I'm not sure if that's proof that he's rich or a harebrained spendthrift. It does, however, prove that it takes a village to raise some money. (Asking price: $55-million -- a steal when you consider it comes with its own villagers.)

The part that fascinates me is the monthly $300,000 in salaries for his "staff" of 40. OK, I know that stars need an entourage to maintain their lavish lifestyles, even if that is kind of contradictory. So let's list the usual suspects. Assistant. Housekeeper. Assistant housekeeper. Groundskeeper. Nanny (when Depp was living with the mother of his children). Chauffeur. Personal shopper. Chef. Secretary. Publicist. 

How did that bum
afford a guitar?
That's 10 people who could probably make Johnny's day run smoothly. Who the hell else are the other 30? It couldn't include stylists, unless it's a homeless guy who gives Johnny his cast-offs, a make-up person with cataracts, and a barber who uses sharpened stones to cut hair. 

Johnny Depp shells out $3,600,000 a year on 40 goddamn people when a quarter of them would do. That averages out to $7,500 a month per employee. Shee-it, I'd mow his lawn for half that.

Johnny and Amber in happier(?) days.
Depp alleged that he didn't realize how bad his finances were until he had to sell his French village. (I love writing that phrase.) He needed the cash to help pay for his divorce from Amber Heard, a bisexual almost 25 years his junior who lacked a prenup -- which must have seemed at the time to be the recipe for a perfect marriage. 

Like anyone going through an ugly divorce, Depp needed to get away from it all -- flying on his private jet to his private island in the Bahamas for some well-deserved me-time. 

The union to Heard lasted an epic 15 months. The settlement cost Depp $7-million, or over $466,666 for every month of their marriage. Wouldn't eating a sandwich and an apple for lunch every day make more sense?


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