I used to love Winona Ryder when I was a kid. I first saw her in Little Women when I was about 10, and obsessively watched everything else she was in, from Edward Scissorhands to Reality Bites and everything in between. She was an icon! Then I kinda lost sight of her until she got arrested for shoplifting and claimed she was “researching” a part, lolz. She’s recently made a comeback and she’s using that spotlight to defend ex Johnny Depp by insisting that Johnny was “never abusive at all” towards her.
Everyone defines abuse differently, so there’s every chance that Johnny could have done some fucked up things during his four year relationship with Winona (which began when she was 17 and he was 26) that were definitely not OK. Or, there’s also every possibility that he did nothing at all during that time… which does not preclude Johnny from becoming the drunk and allegedly abusive (because yes, I have to give him benefit of the doubt since it hasn’t legally been proven, despite my personal opinion) asshole he later became.
Here’s what Winona said in a new interview with TIME:
“I can only speak from my own experience, which was wildly different than what is being said,” Ryder told Time. “He was never, never that way towards me. Never abusive at all towards me. I only know him as a really good, loving, caring guy who is very, very protective of the people that he loves.”
“I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened. I’m not calling anyone a liar. I’m just saying, it’s difficult and upsetting for me to wrap my head around it. Look, it was a long time ago, but we were together for four years, and it was a big relationship for me,” she said. “Imagine if someone you dated when you were – I was 17 when I met him – was accused of that. It’s just shocking. I have never seen him be violent toward a person before.”
“It’s just hard to picture. The only word I can come up with is unimaginable. You know with certain people you hear something and go, ‘I can see that.’ But this isn’t that,” she continued. “I can only offer my own experience. It’s such a serious, horrible thing to be accused of.”
Yes, it is a “serious, horrible thing to be accused of” — but it’s also a serious, horrible thing to do! Is Johnny innocent? Eh, I’d say there’s a slim chance. I don’t necessarily like her implication that immediately because Johnny never hit her, then Amber must be lying. After all, as Winona herself admitted, it was a long time ago – they broke up 22 years ago – and he’s a completely different dude now, marred by years of drugs and alcohol and time in general. Hardly fair to judge him on 1995 standards, eh?
That being said, I’m obviously glad Winona didn’t experience abuse from Johnny. That’s one relief.