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

Johnny Depp filed a defamation suit against Amber Heard in 2019 over her op-ed for the Washington Post, in which she characterized herself as a victim of domestic abuse

Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder
Photo: Stephen Smith/SIPA USA; Daniele Venturelli/WireImage; Jon Kopaloff/Getty Image

Penélope Cruz and Winona Ryder have given their support to Johnny Depp in his ongoing defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard.

Both women have submitted declarations on behalf of Depp, 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.

“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,” Ryder, who had a four-year relationship with Depp, wrote in the documents, which were first reported by The Blast.

“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.

The Stranger Things star, 48, made similar comments back in 2016, when she told TIME that Depp, 56, was “never abusive at all” during their relationship, which began in 1990. The couple got engaged five months after their first date, but they split in 1993.

“I only know him as a really good, loving, caring guy who is very, very protective of the people that he loves,” she said at the time.

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

In her own declaration, Cruz, 45, wrote that she had not witnessed Depp, whom she met when she was 19, engaging in violent behavior.

“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.

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

Heard 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 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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