Winona Ryder Finally Opens Up About Johnny Depp Breakup

By Michileen Martin | Published

winona ryder

Long before most people knew Amber Heard‘s name, it was Winona Ryder who came close to walking down the aisle with Johnny Depp. The Edward Scissorhands co-stars began dating in 1989 — becoming known as one of Hollywood’s power couples — and splitting in 1993. Depp was known for a string of broken engagements and failed proposals to actresses, and Ryder proved to be one of them. They were engaged five months after they began dating, but split without tying the knot. Ryder has said very little publicly about the breakup until now.

Still riding high from her resurgence thanks to her role in Netflix’s Stranger Things, Winona Ryder recently opened up about her breakup with Johnny Depp to Harper’s Bazaar. “I’ve never talked about it,” Ryder told the magazine. “There’s this part of me that’s very private. I have such, like, a place in my heart for those days. But for someone younger who grew up with social media, it’s hard to describe.”

Winona Ryder reveals few specifics of her breakup with Johnny Depp, but still manages to convey how difficult the time was for her. “That was my Girl, Interrupted real life.” The 1999 film starred Ryder as a woman in a mental institution. She paints a disturbing and vivid picture referencing the 1994 drama The House of the Spirits, in which she played a woman being tortured. “I would look at these fake bruises and cuts on my face [from the shoot], and I would struggle to see myself as this little girl,” Ryder recalls. “‘Would you be treating this girl like you’re treating yourself?’ I remember looking at myself and saying, ‘This is what I’m doing to myself inside.’ Because I just wasn’t taking care of myself.”

She also said that Michelle Pfeiffer, her co-star in 1993’s The Age of Innocence, worked overtime to support Ryder during the breakup. “I remember Michelle being like, ‘This is going to pass,’” Ryder said. “But I couldn’t hear it.”

winona ryder johnny depp
Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands (1990)

While it’s been rare for Winona Ryder to say anything about what her breakup with Johnny Depp was like, she has opened up before about what her relationship with him was not. In 2020, during Depp’s ultimately failed lawsuit against The Sun after the British paper referred to him as a “wife-beater,” both Ryder and Depp’s ex-partner Vanessa Paradis were set to testify. According to The Guardian, their testimonies were canceled once it was determined that “Depp’s assertion that he did not hit previous partners was no longer being challenged,” but both of their statements were made public.

According to Winona Ryder, her experience with Johnny Depp was nothing like what we’ve heard from Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard. “The idea that he is an incredibly violent person is the farthest thing from the Johnny I knew and loved,” Ryder’s statement says. “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 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.” Vanessa Paradis, with whom Depp lived for 14 years, had similar things to say about the Pirates of the Caribbean star.