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Johnny Depp's downward spiral was obvious years ago

A celebrity gossip junky, Caroline Goddard has been writing entertainment news for longer than the world has known Kim Kardashian's name. Follow her on Twitter at @GoddardCaroline.

Amber Heard's charges against Johnny Depp aren't surprising if you've been paying attention

Amber Heard's accusations of domestic violence against Johnny Depp may sound shocking, but there are clues the actor has been on a downward spiral for some time.

Depp's behavior has become increasingly erratic in recent years, leading to rumors the actor is abusing alcohol — or even drugs.

More: Details of Johnny Depp's alleged violent behavior keep getting scarier

His 14-year relationship with Vanessa Paradis came to an end in 2012, and later the same year, he and Heard went public with their relationship after meeting on the set of The Rum Diaries in 2009. And in fact, the two were spotted together privately in the months leading up to his split from Paradis.

His slurred speech at the 2014 Hollywood Film Awards ceremony reportedly left Heard livid and embarrassed and got him quickly cut off by show producers.

Coming just months before the couple tied the knot, Heard was said to be furious at the display.

Then in March 2015, production of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales had to be delayed after Depp suffered a mysterious hand injury off-set, costing the studio millions as the actor had to be flown back to the U.S. for surgery. Rumor has it, Depp suffered the injury during some drunken shenanigans.

Depp started off 2016 with a startling appearance at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, looking bloated and disheveled. "His hair was a greasy mess, and his teeth were yellowed too. It was pretty shocking," a source told Radar Online. "He looked more like Marlon Brando than Johnny Depp!"

His award acceptance speech was even odder. "He kind of mumbled, 'How was the beef?'" the source said. "He seemed really confused and rambling and then just ended abruptly by saying 'It's over with, that's it,' before just walking off. People were kind of looking at each other like, 'What just happened?' It was bizarre."

Don't even get us started on that bizarro-world video "apologizing" for illegally bringing his and Heard's dogs into Australia.

And in fact, Depp has admitted to a love of booze in the past. He told Rolling Stone in 2013, "I don't have the physical need for the drug alcohol. No, it's more my medication, my self-medication over the years just to calm the circus. Once the circus kicks in, the festivities in the brain, it can be ruthless."

So what really happened last Saturday night? Is it possible that Depp tried to drown his grief over his mother's death at the bottom of a bottle, resulting in a blowout with Heard and in the heat of the moment, he threw his phone, which then hit her in the face?

More: Amber Heard had doubts about Johnny Depp before she ever said "I do"

Anything is possible. TMZ is reporting that a law enforcement source says Heard showed no signs of injuries when they came to the couple's home after receiving a 911 call Saturday night, and that Heard refused to file a report. However, bruising can take several hours to appear, sometimes longer. Another source told People that cops did see injuries and noticed the house was trashed, and that Heard declined to make a statement at the time because she was too shaken — and Depp was already gone.

However, the judge obviously saw things Heard's way and issued a restraining order against Depp. The actress was later seen sobbing in her car while leaving court.

As for Paradis, we're pretty sure her current status is "wandering around French château cackling while sipping from a bottomless glass of chardonnay and checking the TMZ app."

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