The guy got killed and our actor quickly got out of sight and stayed out of sight for about a year.

It is not often an A+ list mostly movie actor gets away with murder.

It is even more rare that it happened in a time that is not Old Hollywood.

It did happen back in the day.

The actor in question is still really close to A+ list.

The actor was stealing from his business partner. Our actor was not the money making machine he is now and was using a lot of drugs and couldn’t pay.

He also had some other issues.

He got in over his head and when the silent business partners came looking for their share of the profits, our actor pointed the finger at the other partner as to why there was no money to pay the silent partners.

The guy got killed and our actor quickly got out of sight and stayed out of sight for about a year.

Johnny Depp
Business partner: Anthony Fox
The Viper Room

“In early 1993, Johnny Depp met Anthony Fox, who owned a nightclub called The Central in West Hollywood.  The club existed on the site of The Melody Room, formerly owned by gangster Bugsy Siegel in the 1940’s.  Johnny and musician Chuck E. Weiss went into business with Fox, took 51% ownership in the club and reopened it as The Viper Room on August 14, 1993.  Johnny’s best friend from childhood, Sal Jenco, became a manager.

River Phoenix died of a drug overdose outside the club in the early morning of October 31, 1993 (often misreported as Halloween night).  Johnny has said in interviews that he was playing on stage with his band P at the time, and had no idea what had happened until being notified of it later.  In a Spin Magazine article, Gibby Haynes recalls playing Michael Stipe that night:  “Haynes later told Spin about the night P played at Depp’s Viper Room in Los Angeles. Starting ‘Michael Stipe,’ the singer looked for Phoenix, who was supposed to be in attendance: ‘[The song’s] got River’s name in it, so it was going to be cool. He’s a friend of mine and he’s never heard the song. So we’re singing up on stage…and right at that moment, he was basically on the sidewalk…. I’ve got a guitar solo, and at the end of the solo, Johnny stepped offstage. He was frightened. River died [of a heroin overdose] just a few feet away from us, right on the other side of the wall.'”  Johnny closed the club for 2 weeks, placing a sign outside to express sympathy and condolences to River’s family and loved ones.  Fans were permitted to place flowers, candles, photos and other memorabilia outside the club while it was closed.

The Viper Room operated successfully for years, attracting many top music acts.  However, it was not immune to controversy.  In 2000, Anthony Fox sued Johnny for mishandling of profits, but while the suit was in progress, Fox disappeared in December of 2001 (he is still missing to this day).  Meanwhile, by this time, Johnny was spending most of his time in France with long time love Vanessa Paradis and their two children, and had become less and less involved with the club.  

In 2004, Johnny and his lawyers finally settled the case, quietly selling his majority share to Fox’s daughter Amanda, whose intent was to resell the club.  The club was then owned by Darin Feinstein, Bevan Cooney and Blackhawk Capital Partners, Inc.



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