Court documents have revealed that Hollywood star Johnny Depp was supposedly abandoned by his “mean” mother when he was a teenager.
After his mother, Betty Sue Depp, and his father, John Depp, divorced in 1978, Johnny Depp was “emancipated and self-sufficient,” according to 1981 court documents previously buried in archives.
In previous interviews, the actor stated that he started taking drugs at age 11, dropped out of high school at age 16 and started playing guitar in a band called The Kids in 1980, moving to Los Angeles and driving a car for months.
After meeting Nicolas Cage, Depp landed his first film role in 1984 A nightmare on Elm Street.
“The wife hereby admits that the young child of the parties …,” reads the divorce agreement signed in 1981. “John C. Depp II is completely self-sufficient and emancipated,” it added.
Johnny Depp with his late mother
Hollywood fixer Paul Barresi discovered the court documents while researching for the new Discovery+ series “Johnny Depp v Amber Heard”.
“He said he has used a variety of substances since he was 11, including marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, prescription painkillers, opiates and magic mushrooms. His drug use, he said, was a way of escaping family problems.
“He struggled to find gigs in a garage band and peddled with ink pens while working part-time as a telemarketer.
“It goes without saying that at the age of 17, Johnny was barely financially self-sufficient and far from emancipated. As far as I’m concerned, his mother rejected him at a time when he undoubtedly needed her most.
“There is no court record that he was ever legally emancipated.”
Depp revealed in a 2018 interview with Rolling Stone about his mother, who passed away in 2016, that his father, a civil engineer, was mostly absent and that his mother raised him and his three brothers. However, he had a difficult childhood.
“My mom was born in Af-ing Holler in eastern Kentucky… Her poor ass was on phenobarbital when she was 12.
“Yes, there were irrational beatings,” Depp said, “maybe an ashtray is coming your way. You might get hit with the phone.
‘It was a haunted house – nobody spoke. I don’t think there was ever a way I thought about people, especially women, other than ‘I can fix them.’
After his mother came home from double shifts as a waitress, the actor remembers stroking her feet. With one of his first major acting salaries, he bought her a small horse property in Kentucky.
Depp, 58, stated: “Betty Sue, I adored her, but she could be a real bitch on wheels.”
At her funeral in 2016 he said; “My mom was possibly the meanest person I’ve ever met in my life.”