Winona Ryder has no doubt her ex-fiance Johnny Depp is not an abusive man.
The actress was due to testify at the star’s libel trial against News Group Newspapers (NGN) over a story published in The Sun in 2018, which branded him a “wife beater”, based on domestic violence allegations from his ex-wife Amber Heard, that he strongly denies.
While Ryder and Depp’s other former partner and mother to his kids, Vanessa Paradis, were due to appear in court this week (begins July 13, 2020), on Thursday it was confirmed their testimony was no longer required.
It was initially reported that the decision was made as the publishers accepted that neither of the women was ever assaulted by the Pirates of the Caribbean star, but solicitors acting for NGN later clarified to journalist Nick Wallis, who was covering the case on his Twitter feed, that they have not agreed to this and will be raising the issue in court.
Both Ryder and Paradis‘ witness statements were released, with the Stranger Things star insisting she “felt so very safe” with the Sweeney Todd actor.
“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 stated.
“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,” the Beetlejuice star added. “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.”
Ryder continued: “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.”
Paradis echoed Ryder’s words, saying: “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.
“This is so upsetting as he has helped so many persons in his personal and professional life with kindness and generosity.'”
Depp has repeatedly insisted he was the victim and that Heard abused him, accusing her of striking him with a glass vodka bottle, leaving him with a severed finger, among other incidents.
During Thursday’s proceedings, security guard Sean Bett also testified, telling the court he had never witnessed the actor abusing his ex-wife and showcasing photos of Depp with a black eye – which he apparently incurred when Heard “slapped him on the face a few times”.