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Johnny Depp asks 'When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?'

By: Stephanie Merry, The Washington Post
June 23, 2017 Updated: June 23, 2017 at 8:44 am
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Actor Johnny Depp introduces a film at the Glastonbury music festival at Worthy Farm, in Somerset, England, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)

Johnny Depp was Glastonbury Festival's inaugural guest at its new Cineramageddon drive-in movie theater in Britain Thursday night, and he certainly gave the place a memorable launch. While introducing a screening of his 2004 movie "The Libertine," he made inflammatory statements about President Donald Trump.

"I think he needs help and there are a lot of wonderful dark, dark places he could go," Depp said, according to the Guardian.

He then asked the crowd, "When was the last time an actor assassinated the president?"

The answer is John Wilkes Booth, who shot Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in 1865.

"It is just a question - I'm not insinuating anything," he assured the crowd. "By the way, this is going to be in the press. It will be horrible. I like that you are all a part of it."

He also claimed that he wasn't referring to himself, since he's not really an actor. "I lie for a living," he clarified. "However, it has been a while and maybe it is time."

This isn't the first time Depp has aired his feelings about Trump; he played the then-candidate in Funny or Die's "The Art of the Deal: The Movie" in early 2016. But that was mere parody - not something the Secret Service might need to investigate.

When asked about the incident, a representative from the Secret Service responded that it's "aware of the comment in question. For security reasons, we cannot discuss specifically nor in general terms the means and methods of how we perform our protective responsibilities."

Depp has been the subject of plenty of bad press in the last year. First there was the very public implosion of his short marriage to Amber Heard, who claimed the actor had physically abused her. Photos of her bruised face circulated around the Internet. The pair reached a $7 million settlement at the end of last year.

Meanwhile, Depp sued his business managers, who in turn countersued, going public with some very unsavory accusations about the actor, saying that he has compulsive spending disorder and had squandered hundreds of millions of dollars with an outrageously extravagant lifestyle that included spending $30,000 every month on wine. According to a Hollywood Reporter story about Depp's recent troubles, he was also difficult on the set of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," where he routinely showed up late for work, leaving the cast and crew waiting around for hours.

And now there are his statements at Glastonbury. If Kathy Griffin's experience joking about Trump's death - by holding up a fake severed head that resembled the president - is any indication, there could be some serious blowback. Griffin ended up making a tearful apology but still lost her New Year's Eve gig with CNN.

Depp knows how to apologize, at least. He had to very publicly do so when he and Heard illegally smuggled their dogs into Australia. The formal, videotaped apology the pair made was stilted and stiff but at least seemed genuine. Later, Depp told Jimmy Kimmel that there had been a few takes of the mea culpa, since it was hard for him to keep his composure. So much for saying sorry. But Depp said it himself: He lies for a living.

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The Washington Post's Lindsey Bever contributed to this report.

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