“I can only speak from my own experience, which was wildly different than what is being said,” Ryder, 44, tells the 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.”
Although she speaks highly of him now, Ryder and Depp had a complicated, highly publicized relationship.
Depp and Ryder famously began dating after meeting at the New York premiere of Great Balls of Fire! in 1989 when he was 27 and she was 18. They went on their first date two months later.
“There’s been nothing in my 27 years that’s comparable to the feeling I have with Winona,” Depp once told PEOPLE after meeting Ryder.
The couple got engaged five months after their first date, and Depp even got a tattoo on his right arm that read “Winona Forever.” They also costarred in the 1990 film Edward Scissorhands.
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In June 1993, the couple announced their engagement was off. Soon after, Depp had his tattoo altered to read “Wino Forever.”
In a 2009 interview with Elle, Ryder called Depp her “first real breakup, the first heartbreak.”
“And I think it was really ironic because, like, everybody else just thought I had everything in the world, you know, I had no reason to be depressed, everything was sort of at its peak, but inside I was completely lost,” she said of the split at the height of her career.
The actor recently decamped to his private Bahamas island after wrapping up the European leg of his tour with his band The Hollywood Vampires. He has since returned to Los Angeles, where he was spotted at comedy club The Comedy Store on Saturday.