Winona Ryder offered supportive statements for Johnny Depp’s in his case against News Group Newspapers, over an April 2018 article which referred to Depp as a “wife -beater” in a May 13, 2020 story. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Ex-lovers of Johnny Depp come to his defence in libel case

LONDON — Two former romantic partners of actor Johnny Depp came to his defence Wednesday in his libel suit against British newspaper The Sun, dismissing claims that he was violent or abusive.

Actresses Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder offered supportive statements for the “Pirates of the Caribbean’’ star, who is suing the tabloid paper’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, over an April 2018 article which referred to the 56-year-old Depp as a “wife -beater.”

The article contained allegations by Depp’s ex-wife, Amber Heard, who filed for divorce after requesting a domestic violence restraining order. Depp has strenuously denied the allegations.

In a hearing conducted remotely, lawyers for Depp argued that statements from Ryder and Paradis should be included as evidence in the actor’s case against the publisher.

“We’ve been partners for 14 years and we raised our two children together,’’ Paradis said, court documents show. “Through all these years, I’ve known Johnny to be a kind, attentive, generous, and non-violent person and father.”

She added that he was “never violent or abusive.’’

Depp’s lawyers also want to include evidence from Ryder, who was in a relationship with the star in the 1990s.

“I cannot wrap my head around (Heard’s) accusations,’’ she said according to the documents. “He was never, never violent towards me. He was never, never abusive at all towards me.”

A two-week trial was due to start in London on March 25, but it was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The case is now scheduled for July.

By The Associated Press

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