It’s been four years since Johnny Depp and Amber Heard formally ended their short-lived marriage, and though Heard alleged spousal abuse, no criminal charges were ever filed and the two formally settled their divorce. But for the last week they’ve been in court for a different trial, this one a libel suit Depp filed against the British tabloid The Sun, which had labeled him a “wife-beater” in an April 2018 article. The trial has turned into a circus, with several disturbing and even strange details and accusations emerging about both Depp and Heard — and, as per Deadline, the statement of one of Johnny’s exes to the court is now (at least partially) going public.
That person is Depp’s Edward Scissorhand’s co-star Winona Ryder, to whom he was engaged in the 1990s. In her statement, the actress compared the allegations Heard made against him with her own experiences as his former romantic partner.
“I understand that it is very important that I speak from my own experience, as I obviously was not there during his marriage to Amber,” Ryder wrote, “but, from my experience, which was so wildly different, I was absolutely shocked, confused and upset when I heard the accusations against him.”
“The idea that he is an incredibly violent person is the farthest thing from the Johnny I knew and loved. I cannot wrap my head around these accusations. He was never, never violent towards me. He was never, never abusive at all towards me. He has never been violent or abusive towards anybody I have seen.
“I truly and honestly only know him as a really good man — an incredibly loving, extremely caring guy who was so very protective of me and the people that he loves, and I felt so very, very safe with him. I do not want to call anyone a liar but from my experience of Johnny, it is impossible to believe that such horrific allegations are true. I find it extremely upsetting, knowing him as I do.”
Ryder wasn’t the only former Depp paramour to issue a statement about him. Vanessa Paradis, the French singer, model, and actress, who was Depp’s partner from 1998 to 2012, had similar thoughts:
This is nothing like the true Johnny I have known, and from my personal experience of many years, I can say he was never violent or abusive to me. I have seen that these outrageous statements have been really distressing, and also caused damage to his career because unfortunately people have gone on believing these false facts. This is so upsetting as he has helped so many persons in his personal and professional life, with kindness and generosity.”
Among the claims raised by the libel trial include Depp’s claim that Heard once left “a large pile of feces” in their marital bed, which Heard claimed were from her two dogs; that Depp made jokes about microwaving her dogs, and that he dangled one of them out of a moving vehicle’s window; that he once wrapped a shirt around her neck during a fight; and much more besides. This is on top of a recent Rolling Stone profile that alleged he’d somehow spent all of the $650 million he’s made from movies, and that he accusations that he’d spend $30,000 a month on wine “insulting,” but only because, he said, “it was far more.” The trial is set to last three weeks total, and will no doubt have many more hairpin turns.