Jerry Judge, Johnny Depp’s long-time bodyguard, has died, his company confirmed on April 5. Noble Protection said in a statement, “Music & Arts Founder and Managing Director sadly passed away today. #JerryJudge you were #mrsecurity in the #Entertainment business in the UK a one-off, nice guy, heart as big as a lion great friend over many years #RIP bud will never be forgotten.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Judge Had a Cameo in Depp’s Musical Comedy ‘Sweeney Todd’ in 2007
In addition to being Depp’s bodyguard, Judge also had cameos in several of Depp’s movie, “Sweeney Todd,” as well as in several episodes of “Dr. Who” between 1979 and 1984. On his IMDb page, Judge is credited with “Special Thanks” and “Security” on many of Depp’s major hits of the last 15 years including, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “The Rum Diary,” “The Tourist” and “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” In 1997, Judge also received a “Special Thanks” for his work on “Spice World.”
According to Judge’s LinkedIn page, he was the managing director of Music & Arts Security Ltd in London. In 2000, Judge was the subject of the bodyguard documentary, “The Bullet Catchers.” The film followed Judge as he guarded Sean Connery and Julia Roberts as she made the 1999 movie “Notting Hill” in London.
2. Judge’s Role in Depp’s Life Is Being Celebrated by the Actor’s Fans Across the World
Judge’s work with Johnny Depp was so well-regarded with the actor’s fans, he even inspired a Facebook page, “Jerry Judge Johnny Depp’s Life Angel.” While Johnny Depp fans on Twitter have also been paying tribute to the bodyguard. One fan with the handle @Stand_By_Johnny, wrote, “Thank you for your care and protection. You were an angel. Rest in peace. 🖤 RIP Jerry Judge 🖤.”
Another fan, Angie Brett, tweeted, “Jerry Judge’s death will be a massive blow to Johnny Depp. I hope he’s ok.” While another wrote, “So sorry to hear this. #JerryJudge you were a master at security, always focusing on protecting Johnny but always kind & considerate of us fans too. I will always be grateful for how lovely you were on the night I first met Johnny, leaving us to have a chat. A gentleman. RIP sir.”
3. Judge Famously Said that Depp Was Too Far Away From Amber Heard When She Says Depp Hit Her
When Amber Heard alleged that Depp had hit her during an argument. TMZ reported that Judge, along with another bodyguard, Sean Bett, had entered the couple’s apartment after Heard began screaming. Judge said that when they entered, Depp was in the kitchen and Heard was on the couch of their open planned apartment. The bodyguards said nothing was “amiss” in the home. Both Judge and Bett said that it was Heard who would regularly attack Depp during their 15-month long marriage.
Later, Judge was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying, “The things she is saying are not true…she is making things up to hurt Johnny’s reputation and make her look like the victim. She is exaggerating what she says he did to her to get a bigger divorce payout…that’s the only reason… To say Johnny assaulted her is a lie. She is making it up. I don’t believe her… Johnny wouldn’t hurt her.” The Daily Mail attributed those quotes to overhearing Judge talk about the situation in a hotel lobby in Denmark in June 2016.
4. Depp & Judge’s Relationship Was ‘Not a Typical Bodyguard & Celebrity’ Relationship
Judge was the subject of a June 2016 feature in People Magazine that called his and Depp’s relationship “not your typical bodyguard and celebrity client relationship. Jerry is Johnny’s closest confidant.” A source told the magazine, “Jerry basically always works. He has a team of guys that help him, but he is always with Johnny. Protecting Johnny is his life.”
The Gold Coast Bulletin reported that Judge had offered money to one of their reporters in an attempt to learn the identity of the person in Depp’s camp who had leaked information about the actor’s marriage to Heard. The reporter refused the money.
5. Judge Was Record ‘Holding a Drunk Johny Depp up in London’
Judge was last in the news in November 2017 when Page Six reported that he was seen in London with Depp. The actor was seen drunk on the street following a party for the premiere of “Murder on the Orient Express.” Judge was not one of the bodyguards who sued Depp over unpaid wages in 2018. Those bodyguards, Eugene Arreola and Miguel Sanchez, accused Depp of not paying them in addition to wrongful terminations. E! reported in January 2019 that the lawsuit had been settled “quietly.”