By SUSAN CALLAHAN, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist
Johnny Depp wasn't born rich. But he sure mastered the art of living rich.
Over the past 17 years, Depp has earned $650 million from movies and endorsements, according to his former manager, Joel Mandel of The Management Group (TMG). A peek inside the court filings in the lawsuit between Depp and his former managers shows that Depp maintained a pattern of spending that is nothing short of breathtaking.
Try this on for size. Depp spends an average of $2 million each month. Let's tick off the list of expenses:
Why $650 Million Doesn't Go as Far As You Might Think
Okay, let's see how $650 million gets whittled down. First, knock off 50% for tax liabilities to the IRS, California and others. That would leave $325 million net. Pay the manager and agents $65 million, a figure they have confirmed. Note that the managers get their 10% off the gross amount before taxes. In effect they are being paid about 20% of the estimated net income but, hey, that's their deal. What's an interesting side note is that, the lawsuit documents flying back and forth between TMG and Depp state that Depp agreed to pay them 5% of his earnings subject to an annual cap. Hmmmm.... but we digress.
Now, you're down to $260 million. Now, subtract the purchase prices of the homes, yachts, etc. A rough estimate from TMG is that the homes totalled $75 million, the yacht cost $18 million, which gets us down to $167 million. Now that works out as just about $10 million left over per year to cover food, clothes, entertainment and miscellaneous.
Over the years, TMG says that the managers have had numerous conversations and arguments with Depp about the need to rein in his spending habits. While this does not mean that there is a full accounting of Depp's money handled by TMG over the past decade and a half, it does signal, if true, that that was an awareness that the financial wheels were getting wobbly.
Is Spendaholism a Real Disease?
Spendaholics suffer from what has been described as an addiction similar to alcoholism or drug addiction.
The Illinois Institute for Addiction recovery lists factors that describe compulsive spending. Having at least 4 of the following traits indicates that you are a compulsive spender:
Of all the expenses listed in the lawsuit, the one that stands out for me is that $55,000 credit card bill. Now, that amount is not that large, especially fro a man who should have had $10 million a year left over, even after you subtract all the other expenses, at least the ones that were detailed. But that's what is so telling. It makes little sense to not just pay off the $55,000, if your cash flow is $10 million. Hmmm.