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After his ex-wife Amber Heard’s court testimony, many are wondering about what really went down during Johnny Depp and Kate Moss‘ relationship.
Depp and Moss, who dated for four years following the What’s Eating Gilbert Grape actor’s split from actress Winona Ryder, were easily one of the hottest “It” couples of the ’90s. The pair made headlines for their public displays of affection; as a friend of Depp’s told People in 1994, “They can’t keep their hands, lips, mouths, legs off of each other.” But sometimes, reports about Depp and Moss weren’t as positive. Their hot and heavy romance seemingly triggered its fair share of arguments and run-ins with the authorities, as Depp ended up in police custody at least once during their romance.
Since their split, many have speculated about the true nature of Johnny Depp and Kate Moss’ relationship. Among them? The Pirates of the Caribbean actor’s ex-wife, Amber Heard. The Aquaman actress has shared her own allegations about her ex’s past romances, claiming during a May 2022 court testimony that Depp once pushed Moss down a flight of stairs at his home. Understandably, allegations like these are bound to make people wonder what really happened during his romance with the supermodel. For everything we know about Johnny Depp and Kate Moss’ relationship—including the full extent of Amber Heard’s claims—just keep on reading below.
When did Johnny Depp and Kate Moss’ relationship start?
Johnny Depp and Kate Moss’ relationship began in 1994, after the pair were introduced to each other by celebrity columnist George Wayne at Cafe Tabac in New York City. The former couple have an 11-year age difference; when they met for the first time, Depp was 31, while Moss was 20.
Moss was new to the city when she met Depp, who, at the time, was fresh out of a relationship with actress Winona Ryder and gearing up for the release of his film, Ed Wood. “I knew from the first moment we talked that we were going to be together,” the supermodel shared once, according to People.
The writer who introduced the now-exes still remembers the moment they met. “Johnny was in the back having dinner and Kate walked in with Naomi [Campbell],” Wayne recalled in an Instagram post in 2019. “I had no idea that they would then become the IT couple for seasons to come, destroying hotel rooms across the globe during their still unforgettable union!” As for the destruction mentioned? Keep on reading below for the rest of Moss and Depp’s wild love story.
Why did Johnny Depp and Kate Moss break up?
As one of the hottest couples of the decade, Depp and Moss couldn’t keep their names out of the headlines—and sometimes, this wasn’t for the best. Their relationship was peppered with controversy, with reports of cutthroat arguments and criminal arrests for their messy behavior on private property. According to People, the couple were even spotted shouting at each other in public on occasion.
Still, no reports were quite as major as the ones surrounding Depp’s arrest. In September 1994, just days away from the New York Film Festival premiere of Depp’s film Ed Wood, the actor was arrested for criminal mischief at New York’s Mark Hotel for allegedly trashing his hotel room with Moss. While the supermodel was reported to be uninjured at the time, police claimed to have found Depp “in a state of possible intoxication” when he was arrested.
Depp was taken into custody but did not face criminal charges after a judge dismissed them. Instead, Depp was ordered to pay the Mark Hotel a total of $9,767—which included $2,000 for damages, along with the bill for the rest of his reservation. At the time, Depp’s friend and director John Waters told People that the actor had an obvious “temper,” but characterized the incident as “minor.” He told the magazine, “The room service must have been bad.”
Three years later, Moss and Depp’s relationship was over. Depp opened up about their breakup in an interview with Hello magazine a year later, where he admitted that he was at fault for their split. “I have never got that emotional over a woman before,” Depp shared in 1998. “I have been so stupid because we had so much going for our relationship. I’m the one who has to take responsibility for what happened—I was difficult to get on with, I let my work get in the way and I didn’t give her the attention I should have done.
Depp went on to suggest that his passion for his career got in the way of his romance with Moss. “The whole thing was crazy because I should never have got so worked up over what people had to say about my work,” he added. “Sure I should care about my movies, but when I get home I should try to leave that stuff behind. I couldn’t do that and I was horrific to live with. Trust me, I’m a total moron at times.”
Moss, for her part, opened up about the split for the first time in 2012 during an interview with Vanity Fair, where she admitted that she cried for “years” over Depp following their split. “There’s nobody that’s ever really been able to take care of me. Johnny did for a bit,” she shared at the time. “I believed what he said. Like if I said, ‘What do I do?,’ he’d tell me. And that’s what I missed when I left. I really lost that gauge of somebody I could trust.”
Did Johnny Depp push Kate Moss down the stairs?
Over two decades after their split, Johnny Depp and Kate Moss’ relationship started making headlines once again when the Fantastic Beasts actor’s ex-wife, Amber Heard, alleged that he once pushed Moss down a flight of stairs years before he started dating the Aquaman actress. Heard made a brief mention of the claim during a personal testimony in May 2022, as part of her court trial with Depp. The actors sued each other for defamation following the publication of a 2018 article in the Washington Post, where Heard described herself as a survivor of domestic abuse. While she didn’t mention Depp by name, the timeline of her article made it clear that the actor was her alleged abuser.
During her May 2022 court testimony, Heard described an incident where she punched Depp in the face after fearing he was going to shove her sister, Whitney, down a staircase just like “Kate Moss.” At the time, Heard claimed that she and Johnny were fighting on the mezzanine of a staircase at one of his penthouses when her sister stepped in between them.
“She threw herself in the line of fire,” Heard said of her sister. “She was trying to get Johnny to stop. Her back was to the staircase, and Johnny swings at her. I don’t hesitate and wait — I instantly think of Kate Moss and stairs.”
Heard admitted to hitting Johnny during the incident. “I, for the first time, hit him, square in the face. And he didn’t push my sister down the stairs. Up to that point in our relationship, I hadn’t even landed one on Johnny,” she said. “Johnny looked stunned and then laughed at me, and then lunges at me again.” The encounter ended once security intervened, according to Heard.
Previously, Heard made the same allegation during Depp’s other defamation trial in the U.K., in which he was suing The Sun’s publishers for publishing an article describing him as a “wife-beater.” At the time, Heard explained that she heard about the Moss allegation from other people. “He pushed Kate Moss down the stairs, I heard this from two people, and this was fresh in my mind,” Heard told the British court, according to The Independent. “I reacted in defense of my sister. I had for years been Johnny’s punchbag but for years I never hit him. It was the first time after all these years that I struck him back.”
Neither Depp or Moss has ever addressed Heard’s claim about her ex-husband pushing his former girlfriend down the stairs. While it’s unclear what the truth is behind this allegation, further testimony may soon reveal the answer.
If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual or domestic abuse, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for free, confidential support.