Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder defend Johnny Depp from 'outrageous' Amber Heard violence claims

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Getty Images

Actress and singer Vanessa Paradis says claims of domestic violence against Johnny Depp are “false facts” which have been used to damage his career.

The 47-year-old, who was in a relationship with Mr Depp for 14 years, denounced allegations that the star had abused Amber Heard as “outrageous” and insisted there had been no violence in their time together.

Ms Paradis said the Pirates of the Caribbean star, the father of her two children Lily-Rose and Jack, is a “kind, attentive, generous, and non-violent person and father”.

She had been due to give evidence today to the High Court in Depp’s libel trial against The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers, over a 2018 article calling him a ‘wife beater’.

But this morning Mr Depp’s lawyer David Sherborne revealed her evidence would no longer be called.

Actor Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court (PA)
Actor Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court (PA)

In her witness statement, Ms Paradis wrote: “I have known Johnny for more than 25 years. 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.

“On movie sets the actors, director, 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.

“I am aware of the allegations which Amber Heard has publicly accused Johnny of for more than four years now. 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.

Winona Ryder (Getty Images for Turner Image)
Winona Ryder (Getty Images for Turner Image)

“This is so upsetting as he has helped so many persons in his personal and professional life, with kindness and generosity.”

The Sun’s lawyer Sasha Wass QC said she had wanted to cross-examine Ms Paradis, however Mr Sherborne said since Mr Depp had not been asked about any allegations of violence in previous relationships this evidence was no longer needed.

Also scrapped as a witness was Winona Ryder, the actress who was engaged to Depp in the early 1990s.

The Stranger Things star wrote in her statement to support Depp: “I am aware of the violence allegations that have been made publicly for the last few years by Johnny Depp's ex-wife Amber Heard.

“I knew Johnny very well years ago. We were together as a couple for four years, and I counted him as my best friend, and as close to me as family. I count our relationship as one of the more significant relationships of my life.

“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.

“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.”

The statements were released publicly following an application by the Press Association, with Mr Justice Nicol saying it should be known that the evidence is not forming part of the trial but was considered at a pre-trial hearing.

The libel trial continues this afternoon with evidence from staff who worked at the building where Heard and Depp lived together during their relationship.

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