Johnny Depp’s ex-partner Vanessa Paradis has said he is a ‘kind, attentive, generous and non-violent person and father’, according to court documents in his libel claim.
The Pirates Of The Caribbean star is suing the Sun newspaper’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article which referred to the 56-year-old as a ‘wife-beater’.
The article related to allegations made against Mr Depp by his former wife, actress Amber Heard – which the actor strenuously denies.
Mr Depp and Ms Heard split in 2016, and are now fighting in two separate legal actions on both sides of the Atlantic.
Ms Heard, who previously alleged Depp beat her, said she feared for her life during their relationship and that he choked her and ripped out her hair. His side insist her allegations are ‘a hoax’, that she hit him and went so far as to ‘paint on’ her bruises.
Lawyers for Mr Depp are seeking to admit evidence from Ms Paradis, who has two children with the star, as part of his case against the publisher – which is due to be tried at the High Court in London in July.
David Sherborne, representing Mr Depp, said in court documents that his relationship with Ms Paradis ended in 2012, shortly before he and Ms Heard were together, ‘and when he is first alleged to have been violent’.
Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis 80th Annual Academy Awards Arrivals, Los Angeles, America – 24 Feb 2008
Amber Heard attends the screening of ‘Pain And Glory’ during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2019
Timeline of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s relationship
February 3, 2015
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard marry in a private civil ceremony at their LA home, four years after they met as co-stars on the set of The Rum Diaries. The couple celebrate with a lavish reception on an idyllic private island in the Bahamas that Depp bought in 2004 for $3.6 million.
April 21, 2015
Heard breaches Australia’s biosecurity laws after she and Depp fail to declare their two Yorkshire terriers when they arrive Down Under on a private jet for the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Charges of illegally importing animals are dropped but Heard admits falsifying quarantine documents and is placed on a $1,000 one month good behavior bond.
May 23, 2016
Heard files for divorce after 15 months of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. Four days later a judge issues a temporary restraining order against Depp over domestic violence allegations. Pictures of Heard’s alleged injuries hit the tabloids but the LAPD finds no evidence of a crime.
August 16, 2016
Heard retracts her allegations as she and Depp reach a $7 million divorce settlement. Their marriage was ‘intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love,’ the former actors say in a statement. ‘There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm’.
December 18, 2018
The Washington Post publishes an op-ed by Heard, an ambassador for women’s rights at for the American Civil Liberties Union, urging support for women who suffer domestic violence. ‘Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out,’ Heard writes.
March 1, 2019
Despite not being named in the article, Depp files a $50 million defamation suit in Fairfax Circuit Court, Virginia saying it insinuated he was an abuser and got him fired from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Depp dismisses Heard’s allegations as a ‘hoax’ and claims he was actually the victim of her violence.
April 10, 2019
Heard files a motion to dismiss the complaint, cataloging more than a dozen instances of abuse between 2012, when she moved in with Depp, and the May 2016 bust up that preceded their divorce. She refers to him as ‘the monster’ in the 300-plus page filing.
May 20, 2019
Depp hits back against the motion to dismiss claiming Heard painted bruises on her face, scrubbed metadata and fabricated evidence against him. He denies ever abusing any woman and says of her allegations: ‘I will continue to deny them for the rest of my life.’
In a witness statement, Ms Paradis said: ‘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.’
She added: ‘He was never violent or abusive to me.’
At a hearing conducted remotely over Skype on Wednesday, Mr Depp’s lawyers also said they wish to adduce evidence from actress Winona Ryder, who was in a relationship with the star in the 1990s.
In her statement, Ms Ryder said: ‘I cannot wrap my head around (Ms Heard’s) accusations.
‘He was never, never violent towards me. He was never, never abusive at all towards me.’
Mr Depp’s lawyers also wish to call evidence from a former personal assistant to Ms Heard, and a mechanic who worked for the couple before their acrimonious divorce.
A two-week trial was due to start in London on March 25 at which the actor, Ms Heard and a number of Hollywood figures would have had to give evidence, but it was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The trial is now set to take place at the Royal Courts of Justice over three weeks from July 7, with strict social distancing measures in place.
Mr Justice Nicol, hearing the case, previously ruled that parts of Ms Heard’s evidence, relating to allegations of sexual violence, will be heard in private.
He made his ruling following an application by lawyers for NGN, saying the orders sought by the publishers were ‘necessary and proportionate’.
The exact nature of the allegations was not disclosed to the press or public and remain unknown.
The judge is now being asked to deal with a number of directions ahead of the planned trial date.
Mr Sherborne said Mr Depp denies that he has ever hit any woman, and that he accuses Ms Heard of being ‘abusive and physically aggressive’ – which she vehemently denies.
The libel claim against NGN and Mr Wootton arises out of publication of an article in The Sun in April 2018, under the headline ‘Gone Potty – How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?’
Mr Depp has brought separate libel proceedings against Ms Heard in the US, which the court has previously heard are ‘ongoing’.
The pair met on the set of 2011 comedy The Rum Diary and married in Los Angeles in February 2015.
In May 2016, Ms Heard obtained a restraining order against Mr Depp after accusing him of abuse, which he denied.
The couple settled their divorce out of court in 2017, with Ms Heard donating her £5.5 million settlement to charity.
Winona Ryder and actor Johnny Depp attend ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ Century City Premiere on February 1, 1991, Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas in Century City, California
At a hearing conducted remotely over Skype on Wednesday, Mr Depp’s lawyers also said they wish to adduce evidence from actress Winona Ryder, who was in a relationship with the star in the 1990s
The American lawsuit is due to be heard in August.
Mr Depp has always argued that he was the victim of an ‘elaborate hoax’ instigated by his ex-wife, who ‘faked’ her injuries with makeup after a blowout May 2016 fight that finally ended their toxic marriage.
Ms Heard responded with a lurid 300-page filing of her own, cataloging the ‘horrific’ abuse she claims to have suffered at Mr Depp’s hands, describing him as ‘the monster’ and recalling many of the allegations she made during their divorce.
The filing included photos of bruises and scars, clumps of hair apparently torn from Ms Heard’s head and pictures of smashed up furniture to illustrate the violence she was allegedly subjected to.
Ms Heard had a restraining order slapped on Mr Depp following an altercation on May 27, 2016, during which she claimed the actor threw a mobile phone at her face at their downtown Los Angeles condominium.
Ms Heard claimed police had evidence of the attack but two LAPD officers later said in a deposition that they found nothing to suggest a crime took place.
DailyMail.com obtained exclusive tape recordings which were made in 2015, around a year before the alleged fight, as the pair tried to talk through their caustic marriage problems.
Their heart-to-heart quickly descends into bickering as Ms Heard accuses Mr Depp of taking her for granted, behaving like a ‘vacation husband’ and ‘splitting’ every time they have an argument.
Mr Depp complains he’s forced to leave when she becomes ‘manic and angry’, telling Ms Heard: ‘I’m not going be in a physical f**king altercation with you… you f**king hit me last night.’
He goes on to add: ‘I’m not the one who throws pots and whatever the f**k else at me.’