A Complete Timeline Of Johnny Depp's Relationships

The following contains references to domestic abuse allegations. 

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's divorce has certainly been one of the more tense separations that we've seen in Hollywood. The 2022 court proceedings in Depp's defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife (more on this below) have revealed more details about their complicated relationship and split than the public is normally privy to, with many of the stories seeming surprisingly unrelated to what we might expect to hear following a celeb breakup. 

For instance, it turns out that Depp has never actually watched "Pirates of the Caribbean." As he went on to testify (via the Daily Mail), "I believe that the film did pretty well, apparently, and they wanted to keep going, making more, and I was fine to do that." We also discovered that there was apparently tension between Depp and Heard over one of his tattoos: The ink he got for ex Winona Ryder — initially reading "Winona Forever" and later changed to "Wino Forever" — allegedly made Heard uncomfortable and jealous, prompting Depp to get a tattoo in her honor, as well. This wasn't the first time it was claimed that Depp's past romances were challenging for Heard, however. In 2015, Us Weekly reported that he sold his yacht, Vajoliroja, because he had purchased it for his long-time girlfriend, Vanessa Paradis. Heard reportedly wouldn't use the boat because of this, and so to reduce conflict, Depp parted with the vessel. 

Basically, Depp's former relationships seemingly had an impact on his short-lived marriage to Heard. As such, it might be helpful to look back on all of the leading ladies in Johnny Depp's life.

His first marriage to Lori Anne Allison

Johnny Depp didn't plan on becoming an actor. Instead, as a teenager in Miramar, Florida, he dropped out of high school and joined a band called The Kids. As Vulture (via Slate) notes, they did make some traction in the music world by opening for other artists like Iggy Pop, Talking Heads, and the Ramones. But the band didn't just offer guitarist Depp a musical outlet. It was also the catalyst for his first marriage.

In December 1983, he married Lori Anne Allison, a 25-year-old makeup artist whose brother was in The Kids, according to Us Weekly, when Depp was just 20 years old. They tied the knot in The Sunshine State, and Allison helped the band with makeup, per the Mirror. As the group took off, The Kids moved to Los Angeles with aspirations of broadening their platform. While there, Allison introduced her struggling musician husband to the then-unknown actor Nicolas Cage. As Rolling Stone reports, Cage advised Depp that he could make decent cash working on films. 

The haphazard financial plan worked for Depp, obviously, and he soon landed his first gig as an actor in a little film called "A Nightmare on Elm Street." But the marriage didn't last, as Depp and Allison would divorce the following year in 1985.

Sherilyn Fenn called Johnny Depp her 'first love'

Following his split from Lori Anne Allison, Johnny Depp began dating Sherilyn Fenn of future "Twin Peaks" fame. The two met, as PopSugar notes, while working on "Dummies," a short student film that was made in 1985.

Fenn told The Big Issue in 2017 how much Depp helped her navigate nerves in her early career. "The first big thing I acted in was 'Cheers' — and my first love, little Johnny Depp, was waiting outside the door," Fenn said. "I had to walk on and say three lines then leave. My body was shaking. I walked out to say my lines but I just wanted to run back into my boyfriend's arms and run away." Fenn reminisced about how young they were when they met, noting that she was 19 while he was 21. "We went out for two-and-a-half years when we were just starting out in the business," she added. "He was very sweet. He was my first love."

While both went on to have successful careers, Fenn remembers the affection between them rather than their acting pursuits. "With Johnny it helped me, because as a young woman, for the first time, I had found real love," she explained to The Big Issue. "It was with someone who was walking the same path, but even if he wasn't, the love and the connection was strong enough — cooking meals, hanging out, laughing, and crying." What does Fenn think of Depp's global fame now? "I know him as a human not a movie star," she said.

Jennifer Grey called their relationship a 'bonfire'

Johnny Depp then dated "Dirty Dancing" star Jennifer Grey, who had a remarkable dating streak herself in Hollywood. She got engaged to Matthew Broderick, according to People, after meeting on the set of 1986's "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." When Grey was cast in "Dirty Dancing" the following year, she admitted to feeling a palpable link with Patrick Swayze. "That created a tension which made the movie work," she said. Grey eventually called things off with Broderick. She was also good friends with none other than Madonna, who wrote "Express Yourself" in honor of the split.

Shortly after, Grey and Depp hit it off, fashion and all, and began dating around 1989, per Elle. "We were twinning, wearing matching leather jackets," Grey told People. At this point, Depp's career was blowing up, too, thanks to his role on "21 Jump Street." "It was like a f***ing bonfire," Grey said of her chemistry with Depp. "But none of my friends knew who he was. We didn't watch that TV show. Madonna didn't watch '21 Jump Street'!"

It was actually while Grey was with Depp that Madonna shared the hit song with her friend. Grey told People that Madonna pulled up to her log cabin, where she and Depp were staying, and told her to get into her car. "I got in her Mercedes where she had a really good sound system and she was like, 'Listen to this song I just did. It's about you,'" Grey said. But the relationship between Grey and Depp was short-lived.

Winona Ryder inspired that infamous tattoo

It was Jennifer Grey who inadvertently introduced Johnny Depp to his next girlfriend, Winona Ryder. Grey told People that while she was dating Depp, she and Ryder were next-door neighbors, saying of the "Beetlejuice" star, "She was just a kid."

The couple met publicly at the premiere for "Great Balls of Fire!" when Ryder was 17, and then they starred together in 1990's "Edward Scissorhands" the following year, according to Us Weekly. They got engaged, and the relationship inspired perhaps Depp's most iconic tattoo, "Winona Forever." Unfortunately, the tattoo eventually became "Wino Forever" after she and Depp split in 1993, as previously mentioned. Ryder's booming acting career coincided with her breakup from Depp, and this led to what she called an "extra-large breakdown," as she reflected to Elle in 2009. "I had just had my first real break-up, the first heartbreak," Ryder said. "Everybody else just thought I had everything in the world but inside I was completely lost."

Ryder played a part in Depp's life years later when she was asked to address the court during his 2020 libel trial over The Sun's reporting on ex-wife Amber Heard's abuse allegations against him. "I counted him as my best friend, and as close to me as family," Ryder said in her statement, according to The Times. "I obviously was not there during his marriage to Amber, but, from my experience, which was so wildly different, I was absolutely shocked, confused and upset when I heard the accusations against him." Ryder added that she "felt so very, very safe with" Depp.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Kate Moss' heartbreak over Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp and Kate Moss became the ultimate showbiz couple in the '90s. They dated between 1994 and 1998, per PopSugar, after first meeting at Cafe Tabac. "Johnny was in the back having dinner and Kate walked in with Naomi [Campbell]," Vanity Fair writer George Wayne later explained of their meet-cute on Instagram, adding that he jumped in to introduce them.

An infamous moment in their relationship came that same year, when Depp — apparently enraged after a friend betrayed him — caused over $10,000 worth of damage in a New York hotel room. As The U.S. Sun reports, no harm was done to Moss, who'd been sleeping in the hotel room's bed, during the outbreak. At a different hotel, in a much more sumptuous moment, Depp and Moss filled their room's bathtub with $1000 worth of champagne to ring in her 32nd birthday.

In a candid 2012 interview with Vanity Fair, Moss spoke about the brutality in the modeling industry during her heyday and what it meant for her to have Depp in her life. "There's nobody that's ever really been able to take care of me," Moss admitted. "Johnny did for a bit." Noting that he acted as a guide for her, she explained, "I believed what he said. Like if I said, 'What do I do?,' he'd tell me. And that's what I missed when I left. I really lost that gauge of somebody I could trust." So what was the aftermath of breaking up with Depp? "Nightmare," Moss said. "Years and years of crying. Oh, the tears!"

His relationship with Ellen Barkin came up years later

Johnny Depp and fellow actor Ellen Barkin had a brief relationship in 1997 that began because they were both in the 1998 cult classic "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." At the time, their relationship didn't garner too much attention, but it came up years later when Depp sued British tabloid The Sun for libel for calling him a "wife beater" after Amber Heard claimed that he was physically abusive, per CNN. In addition to Winona Ryder, as previously mentioned, Barkin was one of many of Depp's exes who provided a deposition about their relationship with him — but, as The Hollywood Reporter notes, she claimed that he once "threw a wine bottle in her direction."

Depp had a response to Barkin's accusation, testifying in court that she wanted to take things to the next level in the two former friends' relationship, according to the Daily Mail. "A sexual element began with Ms. Barkin which lasted for months on and off really because she was making the film I was making at the time ... and I suppose her desires were ... she wanted a proper relationship with me and I did not want that," Depp said. He claimed that Barkin became "very, very angry" when Depp made it clear that he didn't want the same level of commitment as she did. Alleging that she's since held a "grudge," Depp said that, after this conversation, they never spoke to each other again.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

The actor reached the major leagues with Vanessa Paradis

Johnny Depp met model and singer Vanessa Paradis in Paris in 1998, when he was working on Roman Polanski's movie "The Ninth Gate." He later described the experience of seeing her for the first time. "It was the Hotel Costes," Depp began in a 2011 interview with the Daily Mail. "She was wearing a dress with an exposed back, and I saw that back and that neck, and then she turned around and I saw those eyes, and — boom! My life as a single man was done."

While they were a unit for well over a decade, Depp explained why they didn't want to get married in an interview with Extra (via the Evening Standard), despite welcoming two children together, Lily-Rose and Jack. Noting that he "never found" himself "needing that piece of paper," the actor said, "Marriage is really from soul to soul, heart to heart. You don't need somebody to say, okay you're married." Depp had another reason for not wanting to get hitched to the French model, quipping, "I'd be so scared of ruining her last name! She's got such a good last name."

But Depp and Paradis' relationship was notable, too, because she helped him reduce his cigarette and alcohol consumption in lieu of a healthier lifestyle. According to Hollywood Life, their luxurious time together was split between Los Angeles, a private Caribbean island owned by the star, the previously mentioned yacht that Depp purchased for Paradis, and, of course, two homes in France. Not too shabby!

Why did Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis split?

With such a seemingly perfect relationship, why did Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis call it quits? In 2012, they announced an amicable separation due to conflicting schedules and time apart because of work. "Relationships are very difficult. Especially in the racket that I'm in because you're con­stantly away or they're away and so it's hard," Depp told Rolling Stone, noting that this "wasn't easy" on himself, his ex, nor their two children.

For Depp, a large reason for the friendliness of the separation came down to their shared connection of their son and daughter. "The trajectory of that relationship — you play it out until it goes, one thing leads to another," Depp went on. "So for whatever reason that ceases, it doesn't stop the fact that you care for that person, and they're the moth­er of your kids, and ... and you're always gonna be in each other's lives because of those kids."

Paradis had her own things to say about the relationship's end. "Love is the strongest and most fragile thing we have in life," she told Harper's Bazaar. "Nothing is ever for sure, but when something in love doesn't work from the beginning, it's never going to work. Don't push it." Paradis went on to say that it's possible to be unhappy in a relationship but still very much in love, admitting that the hope that things can change can keep a couple in a relationship for too long.

Amber Heard met Johnny Depp on a film set

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met in 2009 while they were filming "The Rum Diary." While both were in other relationships, Depp admitted that something blossomed between them when they kissed in the shower while filming a scene. "That moment, was, it was, it felt like something, it felt like something I should not be feeling," Depp testified during his 2022 defamation lawsuit (via CNN). "I think there was something in the kiss in the shower that was real." They didn't see each other again until two years later, but after splitting from their respective partners, they announced their engagement in 2014. Shortly after, Depp appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman," wearing her engagement ring. "I have a female engagement ring," Depp said, showing the bling to Letterman, per Time. "It was too big for my girl."

Depp and Heard married in 2015 on his private island, according to E!, with an insider telling the outlet that Depp was "completely in love and [couldn't] wait" to tie the knot with Heard. However, his daughter with Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose, did not attend the ceremony. As Depp later said in court, per Us Weekly, "She and Ms. Heard were not on particularly great terms, for several reasons." 

While Depp didn't get into the specifics of his daughter's complicated relationship with Heard, it was clear that there was some tension from the start. And, as we all probably well know, this celeb marriage would not last very long.

Johnny Depp's acrimonious divorce from Amber Heard

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard split up in May 2016, with Heard filing for divorce after only 15 months of marriage, according to People. Heard acquired a temporary restraining order on the alleged grounds that Depp was physically abusive toward her, which he has continued to deny. Heard was given $7 million in their divorce settlement, which she pledged to give to charity, per CNN. In 2018, she wrote an op-ed on her experience with domestic abuse for The Washington Post, without directly stating Depp's name.

In response, Depp sued Heard in 2019 for $50 million on the grounds that the article was untrue and detrimental to his career; she countered with a $100 million countersuit. While Depp lost his 2020 libel lawsuit against The Sun, let's fast forward to April 2022, when his defamation case against Heard opened with him telling the court (via CNN), "Never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms. Heard in any way nor have I ever struck any woman in my life." The case has since brought forth many unknown details about their volatile relationship, including multiple allegations of abuse. Depp, for example, played audio recordings in which Heard admitted to hitting him: "You didn't get punched; you got hit. I'm sorry I hit you like this, but I did not punch you." Meanwhile, Depp explained a situation where he head-butted Heard, claiming it was an accident while trying to restrain her. 

According to their couple's therapist's testimony, per The Guardian, Depp and Heard allegedly participated in "mutual abuse."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.