Johnny Depp Auctioning Off Expensive Art Collection Amid Divorce Battle
Johnny Depp is auctioning off millions of dollars worth of Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings amid his messy divorce from Amber Heard. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor is unloading nine paintings by the famed artist, which he has collected over the past 25 years, and the pieces will go under the hammer at Christie’s auction house in London over June 29 and 30.
“Nothing can replace the warmth and immediacy of Basquiat’s poetry, or the absolute questions and truths that he delivered,” Depp said, according to Christie’s press release. “The beautiful and disturbing music of his paintings, the cacophony of his silence that attacks our senses, will live far beyond our breath.” According to Christie’s, Depp, 53, had been in talks about selling off his collection to them since the start of 2016. The auction news comes as Depp reportedly gears up for a costly legal battle with actress Heard, who filed for divorce from Depp on May 23 citing irreconcilable differences after only 15 months of marriage. She asked for spousal support in her divorce petition, and the couple reportedly didn’t sign a pre-nuptial agreement. Their divorce took a messy turn when Heard, 30, was granted a restraining order claiming that Depp was abusive during their relationship. They are set to appear in court on June 17 for a hearing into the protection order. Many of Depp’s celebrity friends and family, including comedian Doug Stanhope, Paul Bettany, former partner Vanessa Paradis and their daughter Lily-Rose Depp have publicly defended his character. Most recently actor Benicio del Toro spoke out to back him, telling the New York Daily News, “What I know, there’s a lot of trouble from the girl that sounds a little manipulative.” “It seems the fact that his mom passed away and she filed for divorce two days later and then she wants money and she’s saying she got hit, it’s almost like, ‘Wait, I saw them not too long ago. Maybe it was January, a dinner for the Oscars or something like that. He was there with her and they were fine.'” Depp’s beloved mother Betty Sue Palmer passed away on May 20 following a long illness.
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