Johnny Depp’s ex-partners Vanessa Paridis and Winona Ryder have come out in defense of the actor, stating that the domestic abuse allegations against him are “horrific, distressing, and outrageous.” Depp, 57, is currently involved in a legal battle with the publisher of The Sun, News Group Newspapers (NGN) and its executive editor, over an article that referred to him as a “wife-beater,” according to the BBC.
Published on the Sun’s website in April 2018 and titled, ‘Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?” the article referred to ex-wife Amber Heard’s claims that Depp had been abusive to her during their marriage. Paradis and Ryder were scheduled to give evidence in Depp’s favor via videolink during a hearing on the case at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Thursday, July 17, but were ultimately not called upon.
David Sherborne, Depp’s barrister, said the trial timetable had been revised and that there was no need to hear from them but did release their supportive statements to the media. Ryder, who was in a relationship with the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ actor for four years between 1989 and 1993, said she was “absolutely shocked, confused and upset” by the allegations against him. “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, but, from my experience, which was so wildly different, I was absolutely shocked, confused and upset when I heard the accusations against him,” she wrote.
“The idea that he is an incredibly violent person is the farthest thing from the Johnny I knew and loved,” she continued. “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.”
Actress, musician, and model Paradis said she had known Depp for more than 25 years, including the 14 years when they were partners and raised two children together, and said the actor was “a kind, attentive, generous and non-violent person and father.”
“On movie sets the actors, directors and entire crews adore him because he is humble and respectful to everyone, as well as being one of the best actors we’ve seen,” she wrote, adding that Heard’s allegations were “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,” she added.