Music producer Bruce Witkin testified Thursday that his former best friend Johnny Depp has a “jealous streak” – and was at one time envious of Nicolas Cage.
Witkin, owner of the label Unison Music, said in a recorded deposition that he considered Depp – whom he’s known for more than 40 years – his best friend and “brother” until the two had a falling out four years ago over an unrelated legal matter .
“He can definitely have a jealous streak in him,” Witkin said of Depp in the Feb. 17, 2022, deposition, which was played for the jury at Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia.
In his younger days, Depp was jealous of fellow actor Cage, Witkin claimed. Depp, 58, also allegedly exhibited jealous behavior during his relationship with Vanessa Paradis – the mother of his two children, Lily-Rose and Jack – but Witkin said “a lot of it was in his head and not in reality.”
Depp was previously married to Witkin’s sister-in-law, Lori Ann Allison. That marriage – the actor’s first – lasted two years and ended in a divorce in 1985.
After Depp married Amber Heard in February 2015, he would “work himself up” if she was filming a movie “with some guy,” or if she was doing something where he could not be around to keep an eye on her, Witkin said.
Witkin – who was previously in a band with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star – also weighed in on his former friend’s alleged substance abuse problems, saying he witnessed Depp snort cocaine for the first time in 2014, which surprised him because he said the actor hated the drug as a teen.
He also recounted seeing Depp do cocaine with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.
According to the musician, Depp had tried to kick his drug habit a couple of times, but it didn’t stick. Witkin said he recommended that Depp try therapy.
“He did it a little bit, but then he stopped because, in my experience, it’s deep-rooted issues that he’s dealt with that has nothing to do with Amber,” Witkin said. “That’s my opinion.”
In his deposition, taken as part of Depp and Heard’s multimillion-dollar defamation trial, Witkin said he had never witnessed the pair physically hurt one another.
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But he recalled seeing bruises on both spouses. He confirmed that Depp’s relationship with Heard was a source of frustration, if not anger, for his friend.
“He would talk about frustrations, or whatever, and we would try and talk through it,” Witkin said. “But it wasn’t as much anger as it was much, like, confusion and sadness, and ‘Why is this not working?'”
Witkin said Depp severed ties with him in 2017, after the producer testified about his actor pal’s drug and alcohol use in a deposition that was part of a previous lawsuit against his managers.
“He wrote me this weird text saying I stabbed him in the back and badmouthed him,” Witkin said.