Johnny Depp has fired back at his former management team after they claimed that the Hollywood megastar is himself responsible for being reportedly $40 million in debt, responding to a lawsuit the star had filed alleging fraud and negligence in managing his fortune.

The argument centres on a lawsuit that Depp, 53, filed back in January this year for $25 million, claiming that The Management Group handled his affairs so badly that he was approximately $40 million in debt, alleging that they failed to file his taxes in timely fashion and took out high-interest loans on his behalf.

Johnny DeppJohnny Depp hit back at his former financial managers' claims of reckless spending

However, two weeks after that, brothers Robert and Joel Mandel of The Management Group filed a countersuit, claiming that Depp’s financial woes were attributable not to their actions but to the star’s outrageous profligacy with money, saying that his lifestyle cost $2 million PER MONTH.

In his first public utterances on the matter, Depp gave an interview on Wednesday (April 26th) to the Wall Street Journal, saying that his personal spending habits were irrelevant.

“Why didn't they drop me as a client if I was so out of control?” he said, giving an insight into the kind of behaviour that the Mandel brothers might have been hinting at. “It's my money. If I want to buy 15,000 cotton balls a day, it's my thing.”

More: Blasting Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes out of a cannon reportedly cost Johnny Depp $3 million

Back in February, The Management Group’s countersuit claimed that Depp’s reckless approach to money had caused him to outlay $3 million on a custom-made cannon just to blast and scatter the ashes of the Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson over Colorado. Depp, who played the author in 2001 movie Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, later said that it had actually cost him $5 million!

Continuing, the company said that Depp had “refused to live within his means, despite... repeated warnings about his financial condition.”

However, Depp, who divorced his third wife Amber Heard eight months ago, denied that his situation was down to his spending habits. “I've worked very, very hard for a lot of years and trusted a lot of people, some who've clearly let me down,” the Pirates of the Caribbean star said.

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