The Viper Room: Kate Moss’ 21st Birthday Party Saw an Australian Soap Star Carried Out in a Stretcher
Kate Moss and Johnny Depp had a whirlwind romance that graced tabloids everywhere. Fans of the pair still reminisce about their relationship with leather jackets and a lot of public display of attention.
The two dated for four years, and their relationship was always on display in a famous club owned by Depp at the time called The Viper Room. The Viper Room has many sordid tales, but one involves Moss’ 21st birthday party ending with an Australian soap star carried out in a stretcher.
The Viper Room was the favorite hangout spot for celebrities in Hollywood
The Viper Room traces its origins back to 1921 where it began as a small grocery store serving the residents of an industrial village called Sherman. By the ’40s, Sunset Boulevard, where the grocery store sat, transformed from an unpaved route to becoming the Sunset Strip where A-listers went to eat, drink, and gamble.
The grocery store was then closed down to make room for what was known as The Cotton Club. It changed ownership and names from the Rue Angel to the Last Call, ultimately getting renamed The Viper Room in 1993 under the ownership of Depp and fellow 21 Jump Street actor Sal Jenco. Depp requested Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers perform on opening night.
The club soon became a magnet for up-and-coming entertainers and established artists. Some of the artists who played at The Viper Room include Johnny Cash, The Pussycat Dolls, and The Strokes. According to All That’s Interesting, the club was named after a “group of pot-smoking musicians” who referred to themselves as the Vipers.
The Viper Room was a favorite hangout spot for many celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston, Jared Leto, Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron, and Christina Applegate. Depp sold his shares of the club in 2004 after owning it for close to a decade.
One celebrity overdosed in the club on Moss’ birthday
Depp and Moss stole everyone’s hearts in the ’90s with their romance. The two met at a café, and Moss said that she knew they would end up together from their first interaction. The pair would often be spotted at The Viper Room being affectionate with one another. Depp decided to throw Moss a lavish party with the elite in Hollywood on her 21st birthday
Although the party began on a high note, it soon took a dark turn as one famous star had to be wheeled out for overdosing. Neighbors star Jason Donovan recounted his experience on that ominous day in his autobiography as told by The Mirror. He recalled having jetted into Los Angeles for the party and ordered some drugs to keep him in the party mood.
However, the lack of sleep, food and too many drugs in his system led him to have a drug-induced seizure that disrupted Moss’ party. He said, “the next memory I have is of being carried out of the club by paramedics on a stretcher…I was taken to the Cedars-Sinai hospital and was seen by an Australian doctor, which for some reason I found vaguely comforting.”
A history of bizarre events
Donovan’s incident wasn’t the only bizarre thing in The Viper Room under Depp’s ownership. The club was a hotspot for high-stakes poker games run by the waitress-turned-poker-princess Molly Bloom. The illegal gambling ring was attended by several A-listers, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, and Tobey Maguire.
The club was also hit by a scandal in 1993 when actor River Phoenix overdosed on morphine and died on the curb. Additionally, Michael Hutchence also did his last show in The Viper Room before he committed suicide. Trouble followed Depp into the 21st Century when his business partner Anthony Fox sued him for fraud and mismanaging funds at The Viper Room. However, shortly before he was set to appear in court, Fox went missing and, to this day, has never been found.