LOS ANGELES - Johnny Depp has claimed his ex-business managers are to blame for his financial woes - not his lavish lifestyle. “I’ve worked very, very hard for a lot of years and trusted a lot of people, some who’ve clearly let me down,” the actor told the Wall Street Journal. The Alice in Wonderland star sued The Management Group in January for $25m alleging fraud and negligence.

The Management Group responded with a countersuit, attributing his financial troubles to a $2m-a-month lifestyle.

In his first public comments on the matter, Depp denied that his debts were down to profligate spending. “Why didn’t they drop me as a client if I was so out of control?” he said.

But he did give some insight into his shopping habits. “It’s my money,” the actor was quoted as saying. “If I want to buy 15,000 cotton balls a day, it’s my thing.”

Depp, 53, alleges that The Management Group’s handling of his affairs led to him being more than $40m in debt.

He also accuses the LA firm, run by brothers Joel and Rob Mandel, of failing to file his taxes on time and taking out high-interest loans on his behalf. In their own legal action, The Management Group said their former client had “refused to live within his means, despite... repeated warnings about his financial condition”. They claimed the actor’s outgoings included $3m to blast the ashes of author Hunter S Thompson out of a cannon - a send-off Depp said had actually cost him $5m. The Oscar-nominated actor is best-known for his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, the fifth instalment of which arrives this summer.