Winona Ryder would like to give Johnny Depp the benefit of the doubt.
Amid allegations that Depp abused Amber Heard during their 15-month marriage, Ryder is speaking out on his behalf. Heard filed for divorce on May 23, three days after Depp's mother died. "The Rum Diary" star's hearing on the domestic violence claims has been postponed until Aug. 2, and a temporary restraining order has been reissued.
In court documents responding to Heard's initial request for a temporary restraining order, Depp's lawyer, Laura Wasser, claimed that the defendant "is attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse."
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Ryder doesn't know what may or may not have happened between Depp and Heard, but she would like to believe that the man she once planned to marry is innocent. Ryder met Depp on the set of Tim Burton's "Edward Scissorhands." After getting engaged, they split in 1992, but during their four years together, she says Depp was never violent.
"I can only speak from my own experience. It's very tricky because if it were any other type of scandal, like cheating, you could be like, 'None of my business. No comment. Not appropriate for me.' But I think because what is being said is so horrific and such a global issue for millions of women, obviously, that I understand why people feel it is their business. I get it. And I get why you would ask," Ryder tells TIME.
"I can only speak from my own experience, which was wildly different than what is being said. I mean, 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. It's hard because I feel like. That's my experience. And it's been a very long time."
Ryder wants to believe the best in Depp, difficult as that may be.
"I don't know how you feel about it, but it's like anybody who says anything about it is a victim-blamer. 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. And we have a lot of mutual friends. I just never heard anything like that about him," she explains.
"But, again, I feel like even saying that, I'm going to get death threats or something. I'm not on social media, so maybe I will be spared."
Depp's first wife, Lori Anne Allison, and his former partner, Vanessa Paradis, share Ryder's sentiments. Heard, meanwhile, has been leaning on friends like Amanda de Cadenet and iO Tillett Wright since her divorce filling.