Johnny Depp’s daughter has yet to comment on her father’s messy legal battle—and it appears she never will.
In an Elle magazine cover story, Lily-Rose Depp explained why she’s remained silent about her dad’s defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard. The 23-year-old model/actress, whose mother is Vanessa Paradis, said her parents always made it a point to protect her and her younger brother from the dark side of fame, and that growing up in the public eye gave her a deep respect for privacy.
“My parents protected my brother [Jack] and me from it as much as possible,” she said. “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 went on to add, “It’s different experiencing [fame] firsthand rather than by proxy. I guess it’s something that I’ve had to make my own way with.”
Depp feels her father’s legal drama was simply too personal for her to publicly address.
“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,” she said. “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. And I’m really ready to be defined for the things that I put out there.”
After a weeks-long trial earlier this year, Johnny Depp and Heard were each found liable for defamation. The Pirates of the Caribbean star pointed to a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which Heard implied Depp had abused her during their relationship. Heard filed her own defamation suit alleging her ex-husband’s attorney, Adam Waldman, had defamed her by dismissing her abuse claims as a hoax. Johnny Depp was ultimately awarded $15 million damages, and Heard $2 million in damages.
Earlier this month, Depp filed to appeal the $2 million verdict awarded to Heard, arguing he was not responsible for Waldman’s comments. He also claimed he wasn’t aware of his lawyer’s remarks until after Heard filed the countersuit.
Shortly after Heard’s abuse allegations came to light, a then-17-year-old Lily-Rose defended her father on Instagram. The 2016 post included a photo of Johnny Depp holding up Lily-Rose when she was a toddler.
“My dad is the sweetest most loving person I know,” she wrote. “He’s been nothing but a wonderful father to my little brother and I, and everyone who knows him would say the same.”