Why Johnny Depp's "Outlaw" Cover Is Sparking Outrage

Photo: Rune Hellestad/Corbis/Getty Images.
New York magazine declared this past season the "summer of scam," cementing it by selling a white T-shirt emblazoned with the title. Then, Johnny Depp said "hold my $3,000 bottle of wine" and changed his "slim" tattoo — in honor of ex Amber Heard — to "scum" and finally to "scam." Who needs a T-shirt? Get a tattoo!
This is info that appears in British GQ's new profile of Depp, yet another long look at the embattled star. The title of the piece is "Johnny Depp will not be buried," and it mostly seeks to repair the damage done by a recent Rolling Stone profile of Depp. (Depp, who appears to be clued into the "scam" trend, called the profile a "sham.") Another subheadline reads: "An outlaw talks."
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"I was shafted. 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?" Depp, 55, told British GQ regarding the earlier profile. Depp also claims in the article that Disney, the studio behind the Pirates films, hated him and wanted desperately to fire him. (Representation for Walt Disney Studios did not immediately respond to requests for comment.)
Much of the earlier article (the Rodrick piece) focused on Depp's financial struggles. At the time, he was in the middle of a lawsuit against his management company, TMG (The Management Group). At this point, both sides of the lawsuit have reached a settlement.
"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 told GQ. "I just knew that I was making enough money in salary and back-end that everything should be tickety-boo."
Then, later in the piece, Depp addresses the allegations of domestic violence. "The thing that hurt me [about the allegation] is being presented as something that you’re really as far away from as you could possibly get, you know?" Depp said, insisting that he's innocent. He added,"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?"
The neutral position of the article — and the fact that Depp had the ability to defend himself in a national publication — has some people arguing against it. A domestic violence charge doesn't just disappear, and Depp's has followed him in the form of controversy. This is the reason why Depp's appearance in the new Fantastic Beasts trailer brought on so much turmoil and why J.K. Rowling had to release a statement confirming that she was "happy" to have Depp in the film. (He will be playing the wizard Grindelwald.) The GQ profile has quickly led to online criticism, including a piece from the New Statesman that denounces the outlet.
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Depp is currently, per both profiles, in the middle of writing his own memoir.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for confidential support.
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