Johnny Depp case: What the actor’s ex-wives and girlfriends have said about him

The world is watching as Johnny Depp’s $50 million defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard rages on and highly personal details of their relationship are aired in public.

Depp is suing Heard – to whom he was married between 2015 and 2017 – after she wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post which, his lawyers claim, implied he was a domestic violence abuser.

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Many of the allegations made in court about the couple’s volatile relationship have been shocking, sometimes lurid and often disturbing.

But what do Depp’s former partners have to say about him?

The actor’s previous relationships have come up during the court proceedings, with Depp reportedly having to hand over correspondence with past romantic partners.

Some of those women have come forward in recent weeks to talk about their own relationships with Depp, memories of their time together, and his personality traits.

In a separate defamation trial in the UK against The Sun newspaper – which Depp lost – former partners Vanessa Paradis, Ellen Barkin and Winona Ryder either provided written statements or testified in court.

Others have talked in the past about Depp via magazine and newspaper articles and interviews.

Here’s what some of Depp’s former partners have said about him over the years.

Lori Anne Depp

Depp married makeup artist Lori Ann Allison in 1983 and they separated in 1985.

Allison introduced Depp to Nicholas Cage, who told him he should become an actor.

Depp was only 20 when he married Allison, later telling Boulevard Magazine that they had a “strong bond” but he wasn’t “in love.”

Lori Anne Depp in 1997.
Lori Anne Depp in 1997. Credit: Supplied/NBC

“That’s something that comes around once, maybe twice, if you are lucky,” he said.

“And I don’t know that I experienced that before I turned 30.”

Speaking to the Miami Herald in 2015, Allison described Depp as a “talented actor” and an “extremely talented guitar player,” but didn’t go into the nitty gritty of their relationship.

Sherilyn Fenn

Twin Peaks star Sherilyn Fenn dated Depp in 1985, just as he was breaking into the Hollywood spotlight.

“We were so young,” Fenn told The Big Issue in 2017.

“I met him when I was 19 and he was 21.

Sherilyn Fenn in 2005.
Sherilyn Fenn in 2005. Credit: Phil McCarten/Getty Images

“We went out for two and a half years when we were just starting out in the business.

“He was very sweet.

“He was my first love.”

Jennifer Grey

The Dirty Dancing star recently opened up on her whirlwind relationship with Depp in an interview with Drew Barrymore, describing him at the time they dated as “so beautiful.”

Grey and Depp began dating in 1989 and got engaged after just two weeks.

The actress had only just broken her engagement with Matthew Broderick when the two met.

“It was really a sign that there was trouble afoot on my part,” Grey said about being engaged to two men in a month.

“I just thought it was God rescuing me from one bad situation and just lovingly plopping me into a Johnny Depp souffle.”

Johnny Depp and Jennifer Grey.
Johnny Depp and Jennifer Grey. Credit: Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images

Engaged for nine months, they broke up via a handwritten note in which Grey told the actor they were “done” as a couple.

Grey said Depp got “crazy jealous” when she was away and could be “moody” and “paranoid.”

But she also said the details she was hearing about in the Depp-Heard trial came as a shock.

“From clips or things that I’ve come across, I don’t recognise the person,” she told The Tamron Hall Show.

“It’s nothing to do with anything that I’ve ever experienced, and it makes me sad.”

Winona Ryder

Depp went on to date actress Winona Ryder from 1989 to 1993.

They quickly became Hollywood’s “It couple,” appearing together in the Tim Burton film Edward Scissorhands.

“There’s been nothing in my 27 years that’s comparable to the feeling I have with Winona,” Depp told People at the time.

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder,
Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, Credit: Barry King/WireImage

Famously, Depp got a tattoo that read “Winona Forever,” but changed it to “Wino Forever” after they split.

In her UK witness statement, Ryder said Depp was “never violent” or “abusive” towards her.

“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,” Ryder said in her statement.

Kate Moss

Model Kate Moss dated Depp from 1994 to 1997.

After their breakup, Depp gave HELLO! magazine an interview in which he admitted he had been “horrific” to live with.

“I’m the one who has to take responsibility for what happened — I was difficult to get on with, I let my work get in the way and I didn’t give her the attention I should have done,” he said.

Speaking to Vanity Fair in 2012, Moss said Depp was one of the few people she trusted.

Kate Moss and Johnny Depp in the 1990s.
Kate Moss and Johnny Depp in the 1990s. Credit: Barry King/WireImage

“There’s nobody that’s ever really been able to take care of me,” she said.

“Johnny did for a bit.

“I believed what he said. Like if I said, ‘What do I do?,’ he’d tell me.

“And that’s what I missed when I left.

“I really lost that gauge of somebody I could trust.”

Ellen Barkin

A year after breaking up with Moss, Depp met Ellen Barkin on the set of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Barkin testified in the UK trial, claiming that Depp once threw a wine bottle in her direction.

Johnny Depp and Ellen Barkin in Los Angeles, California.
Johnny Depp and Ellen Barkin in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Barry King/WireImage

Depp denied the claim, saying Barkin had a “grudge” against him.

Barkin is also set to testify for the defense in the current US trial.

Vanessa Paradis

Johnny Depp and French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis were together for 14 years, splitting in 2012.

The couple had two children together, daughter Lily Rose and son Jack.

Paradis provided a witness statement for the UK trial saying Depp was “never violent or abusive to me” and describing him as “kind, attentive, generous.”

Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis were together for 14 years.
Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis were together for 14 years. Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

In earlier interviews Paradis described Depp as “charming” and their attraction to each other as “instant.”

“We understand that, if we want our relationship to continue, we must give each other space, allow each other to go off on our own, and trust each other,” she told Marie Claire in 2010.

“Not everyone is lucky enough to be given space and trust.”

Their split was reported as “amicable”, but Depp later described the end of their relationship as “bumpy” in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Amber Heard

Depp and Heard met on the set of The Rum Diary and began dating in 2012.

They became engaged in 2014 and married in February 2015.

Heard filed for divorce in 2016, claiming that Depp was a drug abuser and alcoholic with a “short fuse.”

“He is often paranoid and his temper is extremely scary for me as it has proven many times to be physically dangerous and/or life-threatening to me,” she said in her divorce filing.

 Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in 2014.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in 2014. Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Depp denied Heard’s allegations at the time and the pair reached a divorce settlement out of court in 2016.

The divorce was finalised in 2017 and a year later Heard wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post stating that she was a victim of domestic violence without specifically naming Depp.

While Depp isn’t named in the column, his lawyers have argued that he is implied as the subject, and that the claim has cost him film roles and destroyed his reputation.

Amber Heard, left, and Johnny Depp.
Amber Heard, left, and Johnny Depp. Credit: AAP

Now, details of the couple’s relationship are being revealed to the world via a courtroom in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Heard has alleged domestic violence and sexual assault, describing Depp in testimony as “the man who beat me up for five years” and “an abuser.”

Speaking in court, Heard said she felt she “wouldn’t survive” if she didn’t leave the marriage.

“I knew I wouldn’t survive it if I didn’t so I filed for divorce,” she said.

“I knew if I didn’t, I’d likely not literally survive.”

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit In an emergency, call 000.

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