LONDON (Reuters) – A self-portrait by Johnny Depp went on sale on Thursday, depicting the Hollywood star when he was in between court cases relating to his marriage to ex-wife Amber Heard.
Conceived in 2021 in the studio of British illustrator Ralph Steadman, the artwork called “Five” was completed this year.
“This self-portrait, it was created at a time that was… let’s say a bit dark, a bit confusing,” Depp said in a video.
“I looked at it and I don’t know why, I thought it needed something else. It needed further information… essentially I just wrote five on there cos I was just about to enter into the fifth year of the madness.”
Depp married Heard, whom he met on the set of film “The Rum Diary”, in 2015. Just over a year later, she filed for divorce.
Their stormy relationship was laid bare in two trials.
Last year, Depp was handed a near-total victory by a U.S. jury in his defamation trial with Heard, who had accused him of abuse. Depp denied hitting her or any other woman.
Two years earlier, Depp lost a libel suit in Britain against the Sun tabloid, which called him a “wife beater”. A London High Court judge ruled that Depp had repeatedly assaulted Heard. He was soon dropped from “Harry Potter” spin-off franchise “Fantastic Beasts”.
Depp said “Five” was inspired by a photograph of him taken in 2015 when he became the face of a Dior menswear perfume.
“That whole time, as much as it was painful, Dior stuck to their guns and that was incredible,” Depp said in the video.
“Five” follows portraits by Depp in his “Friends & Heroes” collection – depicting the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Al Pacino, Bob Dylan and Keith Richards – sold by Castle Fine Art, a British group of retail art galleries.
Priced at $1,950, the self-portrait is a time-limited edition, on sale for 13 days. Depp said $200 from the proceeds of each sale would be donated to non-profit Mental Health America.
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Alex Richardson)