In the most recent issue of Elle, Lily-Rose, 23, explained why she steered clear of the drama, which provided never-ending tabloid fodder for almost two months this past spring.
“When it’s something that’s so private and so personal that all of a sudden becomes not so personal…I feel really entitled to my secret garden of thoughts,” Lily-Rose told the magazine in a feature published Wednesday. “I also think that I’m not here to answer for anybody, and I feel like for a lot of my career, people have really wanted to define me by the men in my life, whether that’s my family members or my boyfriends, whatever. And I’m really ready to be defined for the things that I put out there.”
Lily-Rose is the daughter of the Pirates of the Caribbean star and French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis. The two dated from 1998 to 2012 and share two children, Lily-Rose and Jack.
The budding actress, who is set to star in the upcoming HBO drama series The Idol opposite The Weeknd, added that the glare of the spotlight she grew up under eventually turned her inward.
“My parents protected my brother [Jack] and me from it as much as possible,” Lily-Rose told Elle. “I know my childhood didn’t look like everybody’s childhood, and it’s a very particular thing to deal with, but it’s also the only thing that I know.”
Johnny and Heard were married from 2015 to 2017. A year after their divorce was finalized, he sued his ex-wife for defamation over an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post about surviving domestic abuse. Depp subsequently sued her for defamation. She filed a counterclaim in 2020.
The highly publicized trial came to an end on June 1, when a jury awarded Johnny $10 million in damages after finding that Heard acted with actual malice, in a decision that was partially helped by Virginia’s weak protections against frivolous lawsuits. Heard prevailed in one of her counterclaims and was awarded $2 million.
During the trial, much of the internet was flooded with support for Johnny from his worldwide fanbase. Outside the county courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, the actor was swarmed by frenzied supporters. Heard, in turn, was met with what often seemed like a coordinated campaign to question every word, tear, and hand gesture she produced in court.
Evidence presented during the trial showed that Heard and Lily-Rose appeared to have a close relationship. In text messages to Johnny, Lily-Rose called Heard a “good influence” on her father and his substance abuse issues.
“You’ve been a better dad to Jack and I since she has been around and she was helping with the alcohol problem,” Lily-Rose wrote to her father in February 2014, according to a court transcript. “I just see what a positive effect she’s had on you and I’m afraid those things will leave with her. Please don’t write her off now. She may surprise you and explain herself.”
In another set of messages, Lily-Rose and Heard are seen making plans to meet. On Dec. 19, 2015, Heard texted Lily-Rose: “Am I going to see you before you leave?” Lily-Rose replies: “I hope so!!!! I have to get some last minute Xmas presents tomorrow, would you wanna come with me???”