The declaration, obtained by The Blast, has been entered into the official court record for Depp’s $50 million defamation lawsuit against his former wife. Depp sued Heard after she published an op-ed in the Washington Post accusing an unnamed ex-partner of domestic violence. Following those claims, Depp lost his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the cash cow franchise Pirates of the Caribbean.
Bardem has starred opposite Depp twice, in the 2000 film Before Night Falls as well as 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. He began his declaration by frankly admitting that, ”I love Johnny. He has always been a true gentleman and an extremely generous and caring friend to my family and myself.”
Most of the declaration testifies to Depp’s character, noting his “respectful attitude towards every single member of the crew,” and how he has always “listened to anyone who needed his help.” Only at the end does Bardem take a veiled shot at Heard, with a reference to certain “toxic beings.”
“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.”
While the defamation suit is being argued in real court, both Depp and Heard have simultaneously been presenting their cases in the court of public opinion. Besides the previously-noted op-ed, Heard secretly recorded Depp during their marriage. She then leaked video of him in a state of rage and/or intoxication, slamming kitchen cabinet doors.
Since then, Depp’s team shared audio recordings of Amber Heard, in which she admitted hitting Depp, and said, “I can’t promise I won’t get physical again. God I fucking get so mad sometimes I lose it.” That recording, though heavily edited, seemed to suggest that Heard initiated all of the violence in their marriage.
Now, Depp’s team has increased the leakage to a flowing river. Earlier this month, a Winona Ryder declaration leaked, in which she called the allegations “impossible to believe.” Bardem’s wife Penélope Cruz also went on the record to say that Depp “is always kind to everyone around. He is one of the most generous people I know.” Noble sentiments, to be sure, but one wonders if all of Depp’s friends would have agreed to sign court declarations if they’d known they’d later be quoted in The Blast. The lawsuit is scheduled for trial in Virginia later this year.
Depp currently stars in the franchise Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Author J.K. Rowling defended his casting, suggesting concerned fans didn’t know the whole story. Filming of the third movie has been delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic.