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It is a puzzle straight out of Hollywood Babylon: how can a star who has reputedly earned more than $650m struggle to pay his bills?

The question may be better addressed to psychologists than accountants. The money is not missing. Depp, 54, spent it. Even Captain Sparrow might wince at such excess.

Profligacy barely counts as vice in Hollywood but Depp’s epic expenditure – in addition to fast cars and planes he bought a French village, a $22m yacht and a string of Caribbean islands while allegedly blowing through $2m a month, including $30,000 a month on wine – rivals that of the castle-collecting Nicholas Cage.

In recent years this has led to Depp clashing with, firing and suing a rotating retinue of managers and lawyers, who in turn have sued him over allegedly broken contracts and unpaid fees, draining more funds from the Depp treasure chest and dumping more revelations about his private life overboard into the public maw.