Johnny Depp’s former romantic partners, Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis, have come to the actor’s defense as he sues British tabloid The Sun for libel. In 2018, the newspaper ran a story with a headline calling Depp a “wife-beater,” referring to his ex-wife Amber Heard’s domestic abuse allegations, which Depp has denied.
Variety reports that both Ryder, who dated Depp in the early 1990s, and Paradis, who was in a relationship with him from 1998 to 2012 and has two children with him, have submitted witness statements ahead of Depp’s libel trial. Both statements say Depp was never violent toward the women.
Heard obtained a restraining order against Depp in 2016, after the two married in 2015. She released photos of her injured face after an alleged incident with Depp. Depp has consistently denied the claims, and last year filed a $50 million defamation suit against Heard. The two divorced in 2017.
In her statement for Depp’s libel case against The Sun, Paradis wrote, “I have known Johnny for more than 25 years,” per Variety. “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... He was never violent or abusive to me.”
Added Ryder, “I cannot wrap my head around (Heard’s) accusations. He was never, never violent towards me. He was never, never abusive at all towards me.”
Responding to the statements, a representative for Heard told Variety, “In relation to Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder’s evidence, we are glad they did not have the same experience as Ms. Heard. However, one woman’s experience does not determine the experience of another woman.”
Ryder and Paradis have both defended Depp on previous occasions—including in his defamation suit against Heard.