There was a time -- not all that long ago, in fact -- when people actually looked forward to the promotional tours that preceded the release of Johnny Depp's big-budget studio films.
Depp was Hollywood's most charming oddball, and fans loved the idea of the notoriously press-shy actor being lured away from much cooler pursuits -- presumably smoking opium with Keith Richards or something -- to provide a sharp contrast to the sunny demeanor of some bubbly morning show host.
But a whole lot has changed since the days when Depp used to mumble his way through pre-taped interviews with Matt Lauer.
And needless to say, it's all been bad.
Over the past few years, the once-beloved actor's reputation has taken one hit after another.
Last year, Depp sued his management team, and the bizarre court battle that ensued painted a picture of a drug-addled egomaniac who's prone to bullying and endangering the less powerful for the sake of his own amusement.
In June, Rolling Stone published an interview with Depp that seemed to confirm suspicions that years of heavy substance abuse and a number of toxic personality traits had caused the 55-year-old to transform into a sort of sad self-parody.
But nothing did more damage to Depp's public image than his ugly divorce from Amber Heard.
Heard accused Depp of savagely beating her, and secretly recorded video (below) showed a heavily-intoxicated Depp berating his then-wife.
Most actors would have embarked on an apology tour after something like that, but Depp maintained his innocence, and in a shocking new interview with British GQ, he's doubling down and once again claiming that Heard is the real bully:
Asked point-blank if he ever hit abused Heard, Depp had this to say:
“To harm someone you love? As a kind of bully? No, it didn’t, it couldn’t even sound like me.
"So, initially, I just kept my mouth shut, you know? I knew it was going to stick on me and it would get weirder. Keep going, you know? Go nuts. I ain’t going to get into a pissing contest with someone about it.
"Spit out what you need to spit out and, you know, my attorneys will take care of the rest. I never went out and spoke about the sh-t.”
Yes, it seems that in the classic fashion of Hollywood egomaniacs throughout history, Depp believed his attorneys would make the whole mess go away.
He went on to offer up one of those "well, why didn't she report it sooner?" arguments that we've been hearing entirely too much of lately:
"Why didn’t that person speak to the police? I mean, they spoke to the police, but the police saw nothing and they offered her an emergency medical technician," Depp said.
"She said no. Police see nothing on her. Police see nothing broken in the place, no marks, and then they offer her an EMT to have a look at her and she says no and I don’t know if it was the next day or a couple of days later, but then there was a bruise," he added.
"There was a red mark and then there was a brown bruise…. She was at a party the next day. Her eye wasn’t closed. She had her hair over her eye, but you could see the eye wasn’t shut."
Depp concluded his comments on Heard by stating that it would be "stupid" to hit her, and adding:
"I might look stupid, but I ain’t f–king stupid.”
We're not sure about that, Johnny ... you're certainly sounding awfully stupid these days.