“I can only speak from my own experience, which was wildly different than what is being said,” the Stranger Things actress, 44, tells Time magazine. “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.”
Ryder and the Alice Through the Looking Glass actor, 53, met while filming Edward Scissorhands in 1989. They got engaged soon after but called it quits in 1993. Depp famously got a “Winona Forever” heart tattoo during their relationship, but he changed it to “Wino Forever” following their split.
Depp would later settle down with Vanessa Paradis (from 1998 to 2012) before marrying Amber Heard in February 2015. (Depp and Paradis never wed, and share Lily-Rose, 17, and Jack, 14.) Back in May, Heard filed for divorce after more than a year of marriage and accused the actor of domestic abuse. She was granted a restraining order.
In court documents, the Danish Girl actress, 30, alleged that Depp assaulted her during her birthday celebrations on April 21. Additionally, she claimed that he threw an iPhone at her face on May 21. Photos obtained by Us Weekly on June 2 showed bruises that Heard allegedly received by Depp on her lip and upper cheek. (Paradis, Lily-Rose and some of Depp’s other friends have since come to his defense.)
Earlier this month, Depp and Heard’s June 17 restraining order hearing was postponed and is now scheduled for August 2, 15 and 16.
Ryder insists that she’s not calling “anyone a liar” but that she only had a loving relationship with Depp in the past. Additionally, she says it’s “unimaginable” to think that Depp would harm someone. “I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened,” she tells Time. “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 says. “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.”
Check out Christina Garibaldi and Justin Ravitz dishing on this story during Us Weekly’s Facebook Live News Update.