Vanessa Paradis And Winona Ryder No Longer Giving Evidence In Johnny Depp's Libel Case Against The Sun

The actor's legal team said there is "no need" to hear from his former partners who were both due to give evidence.

Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis will no longer be called to give evidence in Johnny Depp’s libel claim against The Sun, the High Court has heard.

The Hollywood actor is suing the tabloid’s publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN) and its executive editor Dan Wootton over an article published in April 2018, in which they called him a “wife beater” and referred to “overwhelming evidence” that he attacked ex-wife Amber Heard during their relationship. He strongly denies the allegations.

Depp’s former partners Ryder and Paradis were due to appear via video link to give evidence this week, but the actor’s barrister David Sherborne told the court on Thursday that his legal team had decided there is no need to hear from them.

Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder
Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder

At the start of the eighth day of the case, Sherborne said there was no need to call upon the pair, given that the defendant’s case is that the actor was not violent to other partners but was to Heard.

He told the court: “There is no need to reschedule those witnesses, much as it would have been a pleasure to have them here.”

Paradis, who was in a relationship with Depp for more than 14 years and had two children with him, was due to give evidence in support of the actor’s case on Thursday.

Depp and Paradis pictured in 2008
Depp and Paradis pictured in 2008

At a preliminary hearing in the case, part of Paradis’s witness statement 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.”

On Wednesday, the court did not have time to hear from actress Winona Ryder, who was engaged to Depp in the 1990s.

The court has previously heard Depp had a “Winona Forever” tattoo when the pair were an item, which he later changed to “Wino Forever”.

Depp and Ryder attend pictured in 1991
Depp and Ryder attend pictured in 1991
Ron Galella, Ltd. via Getty Images

At a preliminary hearing in the case, part of Ms Ryder’s witness statement was revealed in court documents, which read: “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.”

The court wil now hear from Depp’s former head of security, Sean Bett, and Alejandro Romero, a concierge at the Eastern Columbia Building where Depp and Heard lived in Los Angeles.

Depp’s case against NGN and Wootton arises out of the publication of an article on The Sun’s website on April 27 2018 with the headline “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”.

Depp and Heard in 2015
Depp and Heard in 2015
Todd Williamson via Getty Images

NGN is defending the article as true and says Depp was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs” between early 2013 and May 2016, when the couple split.

His lawyers say the article bore the meaning there was “overwhelming evidence” Depp assaulted Heard on a number of occasions and left her “in fear for her life”.

Heard claims that, during an incident in Australia, she was subjected to a “three-day hostage situation” during which Depp drank to excess and took pills.

The pair met in 2011 and began living together in 2012 before marrying in Los Angeles in February 2015.


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