Johnny Depp became friends with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

The Pirates of the Caribbean star struck up a friendship with Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the kingdom’s ruling family poured millions into his latest film project. And now Depp claims Saudi Arabia is experiencing a “cultural revolution”.

Johnny Depp became friends with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. But the friendship blossomed after the kingdom’s royal family invested millions in the actor’s latest film. The Daily Mail writes about this.

Saudi Arabia’s ruling royal family has spent billions of dollars as part of its Vision 2030 plan to position Saudi Arabia, which has been repeatedly accused of human rights abuses, as a cultural and economic powerhouse, investing in arts, sports and establishing personal connections with international stars.

60-year-old Depp met the 38-year-old prince for the first time in the summer of 2022, after shooting the movie “Jeanne DuBarry”, in which Saudi Arabia invested millions.

“They formed a real bond. It came as a shock to a lot of people who knew Depp, but that’s exactly what happened,” said one of the actors’ friends.

In recent years, both men have faced a reckoning over public perception of their carefully crafted images.

Depp was found guilty of domestic violence against his ex-wife Amber Heard when he lost the libel case he filed in England in 2020.

Mohammed bin Salman, once a favorite of Western leaders who saw him as a great reformer, found himself at the center of a scandal when US intelligence sources told the New York Times that it was the prince who ordered the entrapment of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. criticized his policies, went to Saudi Arabia and arrested him there.

Khashoggi was killed in the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. Intelligence sources suggested the prince was involved, but a Saudi official said the prince knew nothing.

18 days later, Saudi Arabia acknowledged that the journalist died in the embassy building. According to some reports, seven of the 15 people suspected of killing Khashoggi are the prince’s bodyguards.

Depp, who is friends with the prince, now insists Saudi Arabia is experiencing a “cultural revolution”.

“Although I admit I was a bit naive to what was going on in the region at the beginning, I have since experienced first-hand the cultural revolution taking place there,” Depp said, adding that Saudi Arabia has seen “young storytellers bringing new ideas to the region.” “a thriving film infrastructure as well as a newfound curiosity for innovation.”

Johnny Depp also said that he met very welcoming people from different parts of Saudi Arabia and shared their “culture, traditions and stories” with him.

Mohammed bin Salman has indeed spent hundreds of billions of dollars on sports, tourism, arts and other ventures such as real estate to move the country away from dependence on oil money and into a diversified economic powerhouse.

Depp was previously linked to another Saudi prince, Abdulaziz bin Fahd, but a member of his entourage was convicted in 2012 of raping a woman at Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel, where the prince rented a block of rooms.

Prince Abdulaziz stopped appearing in public in 2017 after the crown prince was detained along with 300 of Saudi Arabia’s richest people on suspicion of corruption. Depp did not visit Saudi Arabia for a long time, but in 2022 he finally decided to visit, and a few months later he flew to Jeddah for the Red Sea Film Festival and was introduced to the crown prince.

Depp visited the country again in early 2023 and was invited to the prince’s royal camp in the mountains.

Let us also remind you that in a country famous for its strict rules and many prohibitions, the first alcohol store was opened in Saudi Arabia for the first time in 70 years.

Source: Focus

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