Actresses Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder, former lovers of actor Johnny Depp, came to his defence on Wednesday during a remote hearing on his suit against a British newspaper which referred to him as a “wife-beater.”
Johnny Depp is suing the tabloid via its parent company, News Group Newspapers, over an April 2018 article which carried allegations by his ex-wife, Amber Heard, claiming that he was violent and abusive. The 56-year-old has also accused the outlet of phone hacking, intercepting voicemails, and other illegal data mining.
Vanessa Paradis, Depp’s former partner with whom he also shares two children Lily-Rose Depp and John Christopher Depp III, came to the actor’s defence and called him a kind and non-violent person, reports ABC News.
“We’ve been partners for 14 years and we raised our two children together. Through all these years, I’ve known Johnny to be a kind, attentive, generous, and non-violent person and father,” the 47-year-old said in her ex’s defense according to court documents, adding that he was “never violent or abusive.”
In the actor’s libel suit against the British tabloid, it is also alleged that the outlet committed “wrongful disclosures” about his private life and also announced both pregnancies of his then-girlfriend Vanessa (first in 1998 and then 2002). The documents also claimed that the publication was privy to sensitive information about his then-young children and their medical records, especially the hospitalisation of Lily-Rose for kidney failure in 2007, which the tabloid leaked in the cover of his “pals.”
“Stranger Things” actress Winona Ryder also came forward to refute the allegations of violence against Depp and said she cannot wrap her head around Amber Heard’s accusations. “He was never, never violent towards me. He was never, never abusive at all towards me,” the 48-year-old said, as mentioned in the documents submitted by Depp’s lawyers.
The lawyers argued that the statements given by Ryder and Paradis should be included as evidence in Depp’s case against the publisher, to which the News Group Newspapers agreed.
Meanwhile, Heard’s representative issued a statement after the hearing, and said that “in relation to Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder’s evidence, we are glad they did not have the same experience as Ms Heard,” adding that “one woman’s experience does not determine the experience of another woman.”
The two-week trial was due to start in London on March 25 but has now been slated to Tuesday, July 7 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Depp and Heard met on the set of 2011 comedy flick “The Rum Diary” and tied the knot in Los Angeles in February 2015. However, in May 2016, Heard obtained a restraining order against Depp accusing him of abuse, which he denied. The couple settled their divorce out of court in 2017, with Heard donating her $7m (£5.5m) settlement to charity.
Heard accused Depp of choking her and ripping out her hair during their relationship, while the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor labelled it a “hoax” and stated that she hit him and went so far as to paint on her bruises.