"After that experience the visits became more and more important," Johnny Depp explained

By Aurelie Corinthios
Updated November 26, 2015 08:15 PM
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Credit: Courtesy Lily-Rose Depp

Johnny Depp is opening up about his daughter Lily-Rose’s health scare back in 2007.

During an appearance on the Graham Norton Show, the actor spoke about how he visits hospital dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow, his famous character from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, to cheer up patients.

“For me it’s a gift. They give me the gift,” Depp, 52, said. “When my daughter was ill in Great Ormond Street it was the darkest period of my life. I’d always done these visits but after that experience the visits became more and more important.”

“The kids are so courageous but to be able to bring a smile or a giggle to the parents means everything in the world to me,” Depp added.

Depp’s daughter Lily-Rose, now 16, was hospitalized in 2007 after contracting an E. Coli infection that caused kidney failure. She was 7 years old at the time.

At the time, Depp and his then-girlfriend Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose’s mother, kept a constant vigil at their daughter’s bedside during her 9-day hospitalization.

After Lily-Rose was successfully treated for the illness, Depp donated $2 million to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2008.

The Finding Neverland actor and Paradis also have a son, Jack, now 13.

Depp married actress Amber Heard, 29, in February, and Depp recently told the Daily Mail Heard has formed a bond with his children: “They are all close, like pals, and it’s been great,” he said.

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Depp has remained a devoted father and recently praised Lily-Rose after she revealed in August that she sees herself as sexually fluid when she joined the Self Evident Project, which celebrates people who are “anywhere on the LGBTQI spectrum.”

“She’s got thousands of followers on social media, and they were all taken completely by surprise,” Depp, 52, told the Daily Mail. “But not me. I already knew because she tells me everything – she’s not afraid to say anything to me. We’re super-tight and I’m very proud of our relationship.”

“Lily’s really together – she’s a sharp kid and one of the smartest human beings I have ever met,” he added. “Whatever she is doing, if she needs any advice, I’m there for her. Kids are going to make their own decisions, but I guess that the only thing you can do as a parent is to offer support. And I do.”

Lily-Rose, meanwhile, is already making a name for herself in Hollywood. She has landed several roles, including horror-comedy Yoga Hosers, and has done some high-profile modeling for the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel.