Amber Heard hired PI to find dirt on Johnny Depp for the disappearance of the business partner who sued him

Amber Heard hired PI to find dirt on Johnny Depp for the disappearance of the business partner who sued him
(Getty Images)

Former porn star-turned Hollywood "fixer" Paul Barresi said actress Amber Heard had recently hired him to dig up dirt on her former husband, actor Johnny Depp, including investigating the mysterious disappearance of his former business partner, Anthony Fox. 

Barresi, whose resume has client names like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Eddie Murphy, and who was also hired to investigate rumors that Tom Cruise was having a homosexual affair in the past, told Daily Mail that the 'Aquaman' actress' legal team hired him last summer to look into Depp's "follies and vices" dating back to the 1990s when he co-owned a trendy Los Angeles night club called the Viper Room with his business partner, Fox. 

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Viper Room was previously a jazz club called the Melody Room till actor River Phoenix died after suffering a fatal overdose there on October 31, 1993. The same year, it was rebranded after getting new owners. It soon became a hangout spot for young stars at the time including Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. 

The business relationship between the 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' actor and Fox soured when the latter accused Depp and his associates of defrauding him out of club profits in 2001.

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According to IMDB, Fox, who was an actor and producer, known for movies like 'Trapped,' 'The General' and 'The Knock,' claimed that Depp cheated him out of millions of dollars through "shady accounting and fraud." Depp allegedly cheated him by hiding assets in another company and took advantage of him. In 1999, Fox slapped Depp with a lawsuit. 

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Shortly before Fox was due to testify in court against Depp and four others, he disappeared on December 19, 2001, in Ventura County. Investigators found that Fox's pickup truck and his .38-caliber revolver was also missing. 

An outside view of the "Save Darfur Tour" sponsored by Playboy And Scion at the Viper Room on February 8, 2007 in West Hollywood, California. (Getty Images)

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On January 6, 2002, his vehicle was found abandoned in Santa Clara, California. His body has never been found. The investigation is still open.

Although no one suspected Depp to be involved in Fox's disappearance, Donna Lynn, a Los Angeles music producer and friend of the missing man told Radar Online, "I believe if Tony hadn’t filed the suit, he would be here today. The timing is so suspicious. Tony was about to win that lawsuit, but before he got his day in court, he vanished. There are many questions — and no answers.”

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Despite Fox's disappearance, the lawsuit continued and in a preliminary hearing of the case, the judge ruled in 2003, "Depp…breached his fiduciary duties. The facts establish persistent and pervasive fraud and mismanagement and abuse of authority.”

In 2004, as part of a legal settlement, Depp quietly handed over his ownership of the trendy club to Fox's daughter, Amanda. 

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Barresi said that although her legal team was not particularly interested in having him look into Depp's possible involvement in Fox's disappearance, Heard personally insisted that he does. "Someone spoke to Amber and she said: 'No, let Paul go as far back as he can,'" he revealed. 

To that end, Barresi said he collaborated with Ventura Criminal Investigative Technician Patrick Furlong to find out everything he could about Fox's case. "It is unclear whether the Viper Room or the pending litigation had anything to do with his disappearance, however, Detective Furlong, whom I am working with on Fox's disappearance confirmed the case remains open and Fox still remains on the Endangered Missing Person's list," Barresi said.

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