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Johnny Depp discusses family 'pain' amid Amber Heard divorce

The Jeanne du Barry star split from Amber in 2016

Johnny Depp attends the Jeanne du Barry photocall at Cannes film festival
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyWeddings Editor
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Johnny Depp appeared in good spirits as he hit the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of his film Jeanne du Barry, but his outing comes after years of personal difficulties. 

The star previously opened up about his "pain" amid his split from his ex-wife Amber Heard, which ended with a lengthy court case. The Pirates of the Caribbean star met the Aquaman actress on the set of The Rum Diaries in 2009 and they started dating in 2012. The former couple tied the knot at their LA home on 3 February 2015, but they got divorced in August 2016.

WATCH: Johnny Depp returns to spotlight on opening day of 2023 Cannes film festival

 Amber received $7 million in the settlement and the pair released a joint statement describing their relationship as "intensely passionate and at times volatile." 

Days before Amber filed for divorce in May 2016, Johnny had suffered another heartbreaking blow – his mother Betty Sue died from cancer.

Johnny Depp took his mother Betty Sue Palmer to the Academy Awards in 2004© Getty
Johnny's mother Betty Sue Palmer passed away from cancer at the same time that Amber filed for divorce

"I was as low as I believe I could have gotten," he told Rolling Stone as he recalled the difficult time in his life, both emotionally and financially. "The next step was, ‘You’re going to arrive somewhere with your eyes open and you’re going to leave there with your eyes closed.’ I couldn’t take the pain every day."

Speaking about writing a memoir while on tour with the Hollywood Vampires, he added: "I poured myself a vodka in the morning and started writing until the tears filled my eyes and I couldn’t see the page anymore.

FIND OUT: Lily-Rose Depp reveals why she stayed silent during Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial

SEE: Amber Heard releases statement over settlement in Johnny Depp defamation case

Johnny's sister Christie Dembrowski got tearful as she testified about their mother's death during the defamation trail © Getty
Johnny's sister Christie Dembrowski got tearful as she testified about their mother's death during the defamation trail

"I kept trying to figure out what I’d done to deserve this. I’d tried being kind to everyone, helping everyone, being truthful to everyone. The truth is most important to me. And all this still happened."

Johnny's mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, but after she passed away in 2016, he described her as "maybe the meanest human being I have ever met in my life."

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp in 2015 © Getty
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp split in 2016

However, he said during a court appearance that her death "opened my eyes quite a lot to a number of things," and prompted him to raise the subject of divorce with Amber.  

Speaking about his childhood, in which he claimed his mother give him "irrational beatings", he told the Fairfax County Courthouse: "I forgave her for all that, as one would – should.

Opening Ceremony - The 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival© Getty Images
Johnny's comeback film, Jeanne du Barry, opened this year's Cannes

"It opened my eyes to the fact that – yes, try, in relationships, whether friendships, whether courtships, whether marriage. Try your best. If it’s not going to work, it’s not going to work."

He called Amber to discuss the end of their marriage. "I very calmly said, look, I’ve made a decision and I think it’s the best thing. I’m going to file for divorce. But I’m not going to cite irreconcilable differences. I’m not going to cite any violence. I’m going to state this: we simply, the two of us, we simply don’t want to feel as though we have a collar around each other’s neck and a leash attached to it, and then this piece of paper that proves that that’s true," he said.

"Jeanne du Barry" Screening & Opening Ceremony Red Carpet - The 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival© Getty Images
The actor looked in high spirits at the screening

Following their divorce, Johnny and Amber's relationship soured and they have been involved in several lawsuits since.

READ NOW: Where is Johnny Depp's living one year on from Amber Heard court case?

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