Why did Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder break up?

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  • For the few not following the current Johnny Depp – Amber Heard defamation trial, the actor is arguing that his ex-wife defamed him in an op-ed that she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018. The article in question was entitled: “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.

    Depp is suing his ex-wife, Amber Heard, for defamation and asking for $50 million (£38.7 million) in damages. She is counter-suing him for $100 million (£79.5 million).

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    During Heard’s testimony last week, she referenced Depp’s past relationship with Kate Moss, who he famously dated between 1994 and 1997.

    “Don’t react. This is perfect!”, Depp’s lawyer reportedly told him, according to lip readers.

    The excited reaction from Depp’s lawyers at the mention of Moss’ name has been taken by some viewers to mean that this has opened the door on conversations around ex partners.

    Johnny Depp unsurprisingly has a string of A-list ex-girlfriends, and from Kate Moss and Vanessa Paradis to Jennifer Grey and Naomi Campbell, his past relationships have sky-rocketed back into the headlines.

    The most talked-about is actually seemingly his relationship with Winona Ryder, who he famously dated just before Kate, from 1989 to 1993.

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    Why did Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder break up?

    Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder were one of the “It” couples of the ’90s, dating for four years after meeting at the premiere of Great Balls of Fire! in 1989. They went on to star in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands together and quickly became one of the most talked-about couples of the moment, from their eight year age difference to Depp’s iconic “Winona Forever” tattoo. He later changed the wording to read “Wino Forever” after their break up.

    “They’re young, and they grew apart,” a representative for Winona Ryder explained to People of their break up at the time, but both parties have since spoken out about the split in more detail.

    “It’s very hard to have a personal life in this town,” Depp explained to The Los Angeles Times about how fame affected their private life. “My relationship with Winona, it was my mistake to be as open as we were, but I thought if we were honest it would destroy that curiosity monster. Instead it fed it, gave people license to feel they were part of it.”

    “I had just had my first real breakup, the first heartbreak,” Winona Ryder explained of the period after their split to ELLE in 2009. “Everybody else just thought I had everything in the world but inside I was completely lost.”

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    Edward Scissorhands director Tim Burton has since also opened up about Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder’s break up, recalling Johnny’s heartbreak:

    “I felt so bad. I asked him why it happened but all he said was, ‘It wasn’t her fault, it was mine,’” explained Burton. “It wasn’t the same as Winona. I felt weird to be around him like he wasn’t acting like Johnny anymore. It’s almost like Winona took Johnny’s soul, Johnny’s love.”

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    Despite their split, the former couple appears to be on good terms, with Ryder even releasing a witness statement to the court in 2020, explaining that she had never experienced abuse during her relationship with Depp.

    “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.”

    Her statement continued: “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.”

    Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s defamation trial is ongoing.

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