Winona Ryder reflects on her ’90s split from Johnny Depp: ‘My ‘girl, interrupted’ in real life’

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Winona Ryder reflects on her relationship with Johnny Depp.

The pair began dating after meeting at the New York premiere of Great Balls of Fire! in 1989. Two months later, they had their first date. Then, five months after the first date, the two Hollywood stars got engaged. They appeared in the 1990 film Edward Scissorhands, and Depp even got a tattoo that reads “Winona Forever.”

But in June 1993, the couple called it quits. Depp famously changed his body art to “Wino Forever.”

Ryder, who stars on the cover of the July 2022 digital issue of Harper’s Bazaar, called their breakup and the Hollywood culture of the time “my ‘disconnected girl’ in real life,” referring to her 1999 film about psychic issues problems.

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Winona Ryder is on the cover of the July 2022 digital edition of Harper's Bazaar.

Winona Ryder is on the cover of the July 2022 digital edition of Harper’s Bazaar.
(Dan Martensen)

The 50-year-old told the outlet that an “incredible” therapist suggested she imagine her younger self and be kinder to her.

“I remember playing this character who ends up being tortured in a Chilean prison [for the 1994 film ‘The House of the Spirits’]’ she recalled. “I would look at those fake bruises and cuts on my face [from the shoot], and I would have a hard time seeing myself as that little girl. “Would you treat this girl like you would treat yourself?” I remember looking at myself and saying, ‘This is what I’m doing to myself inside.’ Because I just wasn’t taking care of myself.”

“I never talked about it,” Ryder admitted. “There’s that part of me that’s very private. I have something of a place in my heart for these days. But for someone who’s younger and who grew up with social media, it’s hard to describe.”

Ryder also noted that she “definitely retired from the tabloids” in the early 2000s.

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Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp split in June 1993.

Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp split in June 1993.
(Barry King/WireImage)

“I was in San Francisco,” she told the outlet. “But I didn’t get any offers either. I think it was a very mutual break. It’s so interesting when you look at the early beginnings. It was kind of a cruel time. There was a lot of meanness out there… And then I remember coming back to LA and – it was a tough time. And I didn’t know if that part of my life was over.”

In 2016, Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard received a domestic violence restraining order against the actor during their divorce. Ryder, who is known for being a mom through her personal life, told Time Magazine that Depp was never abusive to her during their relationship, which ended decades earlier. Depp, now 59, has long denied the allegations.

“I can only speak from my own experience, which differs greatly from what is being said,” Ryder explained at the time. “He was never, never like that with me. Never abusive to me. I just know him as a really good, loving, caring guy who is very, very protective of the people he loves.”

“I was not there. I do not know what happened. I don’t call anyone a liar,” Ryder continued. “I’m just saying it’s difficult and annoying for me to deal with. Look, it’s been a long time, but we’ve been together for four years, and it’s been a big relationship for me. Imagine someone you I was 17 years old when I met him. He was accused of that. It’s just shocking. I’ve never seen him be violent towards anyone.”

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Winona Ryder explained to Harper's Bazaar how her split from Johnny Depp affected her in the '90s.

Winona Ryder explained to Harper’s Bazaar how her split from Johnny Depp affected her in the ’90s.
(Dan Martensen)

Ryder also described that she was “depressed” and “was going through something” in the 1990s around the time she and Depp broke up.

“You can’t look to the industry to validate you as a person because that can only lead to incredible disappointment. I admit I was guilty of that when I was younger because you get caught up in it, surrounded by people telling you it’s the most important thing, and you’re young and you believe in it.”

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