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    Amid legal brouhaha, Johnny Depp surprises fans on 'Pirates of the Caribbean' ride

     (Richard Shotwell / Associated Press)
    (Richard Shotwell / Associated Press)

    Johnny Depp returned to his swashbuckling ways on Wednesday, making a guest appearance on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at the Disneyland Resort, much to fans' delight.

    The attention-averting move happened to come as his former business managers accused him this week of being a "habitual liar." More on that in a sec.

    Though there are three animatronic Jack Sparrows on the ride, Depp's in-the-flesh appearance and running conversations with boat riders was a welcome surprise to fans who shared it on social media.

    The "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" star greeted riders on the attraction as his rum-swilling alter-ego, resplendent in Sparrow's eyeliner and dreadlocks, wielded a sword and recited lines from the long-running movie franchise.

    The 53-year-old's appearance came as the ride celebrates its 50th anniversary and ahead of the May 26 release date for the next "Pirates" installment. The new chapter sees the return of fan favorites Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley as Depp's ill-fortuned Sparrow pursues the legendary Trident of Poseidon in a race against bad guy Capt. Salazar, played by Javier Bardem.

    Depp's outing also comes a day after his public battle with his former management company hit the radar again. 

    The actor and the Management Group have been embroiled in a dispute over his finances that resulted in the star filing a $25-million lawsuit in January alleging fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and more against his longtime business managers. He claims they lost tens of millions of dollars over more than a decade.

    The Management Group countersued in February, claiming that Depp refused to reign in his "voracious spending."

    “Why didn’t they drop me as a client if I was so out of control?” Depp told the Wall Street Journal this week in his first public comments on the matter since he filed the lawsuit.

    On Tuesday, Management Group spokesman David Shane lobbed his rebuttal, claiming that the film star “is a habitual liar who denies responsibility for his own outrageous conduct” and “has himself to blame for his financial woes.”

    Let's see how good Capt. Sparrow's sword is at deflecting bad publicity ... 

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