Johnny Depp has lived what most would call an “adventurous” life, but recently unearthed court documents from 1981 show that before he became famous, things for the actor were even worse than imagined.
According to Page Six, Depp’s mother, Betty Sue, effectively abandoned him in the midst of her divorce from Depp’s father when the young boy was just 15 years old.
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Court documents from the case show Betty Sue claiming that her son was “emancipated and self-supporting” at this time, although he paints an entirely different picture.
Interviews from over the years feature the Pirates of the Caribbean star talking about experimenting with drugs as early as 11, dropping out of high school at 16, and moving to Los Angeles where he lived in his car for several months before meeting Nicolas Cage.
“He said since age 11, he’s taken all manner of substances, including marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, prescription painkillers, opiates and magic mushrooms. His drug use, he said, was a way to escape family problems,” Paul Barresi said, according to Page Six.
Barresi, who is currently working on a documentary about Depp’s ongoing legal battle with his ex wife, Amber Heard, is the one who discovered the divorce documents.
“Johnny was hardly financially self-sufficient, and far from being emancipated. As far as I am concerned, his mother disowned him at a time when he unquestionably needed her most,” he said.
Apparently, there is no court record in existence that reports Depp as having been emancipated. Despite this, Betty Sue, signed a paper in 1981 stating that, “the wife hereby acknowledges that the parties’ minor child … John C. Depp II is fully emancipated and self-supporting.”
Betty Sue passed away in 2016, but in 2018, the actor sat down for an interview with Rolling Stone, during which he shared the unfortunate impact his childhood trauma has had on his adult life.
“It was a ghost house — no one talked. I don’t think there ever was a way I thought about people, especially women, other than ‘I can fix them.’”
He continued, “Betty Sue, I worshipped her, but she could be a real bitch on wheels.”
If you’re interested in hearing more about Depp’s ongoing legal battle with Amber Heard, check out our latest story on the controversial topic.