Weekend Nugget Number One: Johnny Depp

Did Johnny Depp slap down some dough for a getaway on the Isle of Wight? Could be. Real estate rumors have begun to circulate in the local press that the Oscar-nominated ex-pat American actor may have set his real estate sights on the historic and scenic Isle of Wight, located just off the southern coast of England.

The wee island has been popular amongst literary types and royalty since at least the mid-1800s when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert acquired the vast Italian Renaissance-style pile known as Osborne House for uses as a summer retreat. Nowadays the island is best known among music-minded pop cultural types for hosting the annual Isle of Wight music festival.

Over the summer there were local reports the insanely famous and famously reclusive actor was spotted roaming around the southern seaside town of Ryde and chowing down in local eateries such as the Ugly Mug Cafe in Shanklin where the home made cakes and sandwiches are wheat-, gluten- and dairy-free.

Recent reports suggest the sightings (and photos) of Mister Depp over the summer may have been not of the actor himself but rather of someone who just happens to look a lot like the actor and doesn't mind posing for photos as the actor. However, the latest report–sent our way via an acquaintance we'll call Venetia Vaseseller–quotes Michelin-starred chef Robert Thompson who owns The Hambrough hotel in Ventor as saying, "People still think coming here is like stepping back in time. But it’s up-and-coming. Johnny Depp just bought a place in [the small village of] Bonchurch."

We have no inside intel on the matter. We're just passing along a little celebrity real estate gossip and rumor.

What we do know is that Mister Depp and his French actress-wife Vanessa Paradis maintain a number of swank residences around the world including a house in the affluent Paris suburb of Meudon, a remotely situated villa in Plan-de-la-Tour about 10 or 12 miles from St. Tropez in the South of France, and a 45-acre private island in the Bahamas called Little Hall's Pond Cay. In Los Angeles, CA Mister Depp owns a gated, 2.54 acre estate with a hulking chateau-style mansion built in 1922 and perched on a hillside directly above the Sunset Strip. Property records we peeped indicate Mister Depp acquired his bamboo-ringed Tinseltown compound, former the home of from celebrity attorney Marvin Mitchelson, in October 1995 for $1,890,000.

In typical celebrity real estate baller style property records also reveal a corporate entity connected to Mister Depp's Sunset Strip estate also owns four smaller (but hardly insubstantial) residences on the same short, windy cul-de-sac purchased between September 2005 and October 2008. A quick consult with our bejeweled abacus shows Mister Depp shelled out a total of $10,070,000 for the four properties. Presumably Mister Depp uses the quartet of residences as office space and/or to house family, friends,  and/or staff.