"I stand by Johnny because I have always seen and felt a true caring and loving man in him," Javier Bardem wrote in a written declaration

By Alexia Fernandez
March 24, 2020 03:43 PM
Daniele Venturelli/WireImage; Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty

Javier Bardem has come forward to support his friend Johnny Depp in the actor’s defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Bardem, 51, submitted a written declaration on behalf of Depp, 56, who sued Heard in 2019 after she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post, in which she characterized herself as a victim of domestic abuse, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.

The two actors worked together in the 2000 film Before Night Falls and again in 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

“I love Johnny. He has always been a true gentleman and an extremely generous and caring friend to my family and myself,” Bardem wrote in the documents obtained by PEOPLE. The Blast first reported the story.

The Oscar winner continued, “On top of that I’ve had the gift of working with him twice and have experienced his respectful attitude towards every single member of the crew alongside his unique and hilarious sense of humor.”

RELATED: Penélope Cruz and Winona Ryder Defend Johnny Depp in His Defamation Lawsuit Against Amber Heard

“I stand by Johnny because I have always seen and felt a true caring and loving man in him — an extraordinary and unique artist who has listened to anyone who needed his help,” Bardem wrote. “I not only love Johnny but respect him deeply and I thank him for being the free and careless little boy he is in his art and the mature and loving man he is in the lives of others — always there when we need him.”

Bardem added, “I love Johnny because he is a good human being, trapped in the lies and manipulations of toxic beings and yet smiling and loving us all in spite of it. How? Through his music, through his acting, through his silence. This means a lot. Thank you Johnny. Millions of others like me love you deeply.”

A rep for Heard did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Johnny Depp; Amber Heard
Todd Williamson/Getty; John Shearer/Getty

Bardem’s wife and frequent costar, Penélope Cruz also submitted a written declaration earlier this month in which she supported Depp.

“Many years have passed and I have not only made 3 movies with him, but I also count on him as a great friend. I’ve always been impressed by his kindness, his brilliant mind, his talent, and his peculiar sense of humor,” she wrote in the court documents, obtained by The Blast.

Depp’s ex-girlfriend, Winona Ryder, also backed the actor in her own declaration, writing, “I am aware of the violence allegations that have been made publicly for the last few years by Johnny Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard.”

RELATED: Why Johnny Depp Wants James Franco to Testify in His Defamation Suit Against Amber Heard

“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. I find it extremely upsetting knowing him as I do,” she added in the documents.

Depp’s ex Vanessa Paradis also voiced her support earlier this month in a submitted declaration on behalf of Depp.

“I have known Johnny Depp for more than 25 years,” Paradis, 47, wrote in the court documents, which were first reported by The Blast. “We’ve been partners for 14 years and we raised our two children together. Through all these years I’ve known Johnny to be a kind, attentive, generous, and non-violent person and father.”

Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis
Frazer Harrison/Getty

“I am aware of the allegations which Amber Heard has publicly accused Johnny of for more than 4 years now,” she continued. “This is nothing like the true Johnny I have known, and from my personal experience of many years, I can say he was never violent or abusive to me.”

Depp and Paradis were together for 14 years, from 1999 to 2012. The French singer — who married Samuel Benchetrit in 2018 — has two kids with Depp: Lily-Rose, 20, and John Christopher, 17.

Heard, 33, and Depp married in 2015. In May 2016, she filed for a domestic violence restraining order against him, accusing him of abusing her. Depp denied the claims, and the former couple settled their divorce out of court in August 2016 for $7 million, which she donated to charity. Both actors signed NDAs barring them from discussing their relationship publicly.

Depp’s lawyers filed a $50 million defamation suit against Heard in 2019 over her Dec. 18, 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post titled, “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” In the op-ed, she made no mention of Depp’s name.

Depp sued the U.K. tabloid The Sun in 2018 for libel over a story that called the actor a “wife-beater.” The trial is expected to begin on March 23 and last for two weeks, according to Reuters.

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