Lily-Rose Depp defended her choice to remain silent during the defamation trial involving her father Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard.
In a candid interview with hand, the rising star actress explained why she decided to steer clear of all the drama and not comment directly on the case that was held in Fairfax County, Virginia earlier this year.
‘When it’s something that’s so private and so personal that all of a sudden becomes not so personal…I feel really entitled to my secret garden of thoughts,’ the model and actress, who is set to star in HBO’s upcoming series The Idol, said in the publication’s cover story.
Her take: Lily-Rose Depp, 23, defended her decision to remain silent and not comment about the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial earlier this year
While addressing her silence, the Neuilly-sur-Seine, France native, 23, declared that she wants to be judged on her own merits and not by the men in her life, whether that be her famous father or boyfriends in her life.
‘I also think that I’m not here to answer for anybody, and I feel like for a lot of my career, people have really wanted to define me by the men in my life, whether that’s my family members or my boyfriends, whatever .’
Sounding confident and somewhat defiant at the same time, she added, ‘And I’m really ready to be defined for the things that I put out there.’
Johnny Depp started dating Amber Heard following his announcement that he had separated from Lily-Rose’s mother, Vanessa Paradis, in June 2012 after being an item for more than 14 years.
The Depp and Heard union would only last about a year-and-a-half, ending with Heard filing for divorce in May 2016. During that filing she obtained a temporary restraining order against the A-list actor, alleging that he had been verbally and physically abusive throughout their relationship, usually while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Staying neutral: ‘When it’s something that’s so private and so personal that all of a sudden becomes not so personal…I feel really entitled to my secret garden of thoughts,’ the rising star actress said of the Depp V. Heard trial that went from April-June
Her own woman: ‘I also think that I’m not here to answer for anybody, and I feel like for a lot of my career, people have really wanted to define me by the men in my life, whether that’s my family members or my boyfriends, whatever,’ said Lily-Rose to Elle; she’s pictured with her famous father in an Instagram post from years ago
After denying Heard’s claims of abuse, a settlement was reached and the divorce was finalized in January 2017.
Heard would also go on to dismiss the restraining order, and the former couple issued a joint statement saying that their ‘relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love.’
Nearly two years later, Heard wrote an op-ed that was published by the Washington Post in December 2018 titled ‘Amber Heard: I spoke up against sexual violence—and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.’
In the article, Heard stated: ‘Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who spoke out. … I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.’
While he never identified Depp by name, the Pirates Of The Caribbean star maintained Heard caused new damage to his reputation and career and filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit. Heard went on to retaliate by filing a countersuit claiming $100 million in damages.
Their trial ended up going from April until June, with Heard being found guilty of all three defamation claims.
Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages from Heard, although the court reduced the punitive damages to $350,000 due to a limit imposed by Virginia state law. They also ruled that Depp’s former lawyer, Adam Waldman, had defamed Heard by falsely alleging that she and her friends ‘roughed up’ Depp’s penthouse as part of a hoax’ and awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages but zero dollars in punitive damages.
Defamation trial: In the wake of Heard’s op-ed published in the Washington Post in December 2018, Johnny Depp filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit claiming she caused new damage to his reputation and career; he’s pictured in court in Fairfax, Virginia in April 2022
Trial outcome: Heard was found guilty of all three defamation claims and ordered to pay $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, although the court reduced the punitive damages to $350,000 due to a limit imposed by Virginia state law
Evidence presented during the trial, which made headlines all over the world, showed that Heard and Lily-Rose appeared to have a close relationship.
Her decision not to comment on their trial was criticized by many on social media, but she also had many fans come to her defense at the time.
While The Dancer star continued to avoid taking sides in the trial in the Elle interview, Lily-Rose did elaborate on her childhood and what it was like being raised by a superstar father and mother, who’s been a big star in her own right as a model, singer and actress in her native France.
‘I know my childhood didn’t look like everybody’s childhood, and it’s a very particular thing to deal with, but it’s also the only thing that I know,’ she explained.
‘My parents protected my brother, [Jack], and me from it as much as possible. I’ve just been raised in a manner that has taught me that privacy is something that’s important to protect.’
She also addressed critics who claim her career is a product, in part, of nepotism.
‘People are going to have preconceived ideas about you or how you got there, and I can definitely say that nothing is going to get you the part except for being right for the part,’ she said, adding, ‘The internet cares a lot more about who your family is than the people who are casting you in things. Maybe you get your foot in the door, but you still just have your foot in the door. There’s a lot of work that comes after that.’
Superstar parents: Lily-Rose also shared about what it was like being raised by her superstar father and mother, who’s a huge star in her own right as a model, singer and actress in her native France; the former couple, who separated in 2012, are pictured in 1999