A love forged in decadence: We rarely hear her speak, but Kate Moss is due to give evidence backing her ex, Johnny Depp. The reason? A love affair so destructively all-consuming that it drove her to rehab and years of grief, writes ALISON BOSHOFF
- Kate Moss, 48, will be testifying in support of her former lover Johnny Depp, 58
- The pair dated for about four years in the 1990s before Depp broke things off
- Moss said that she cried ‘for years’ after the end of their iconic relationship
They were the iconic couple of the period: a potent combination of beauty and cool, all dangerous cheekbones and grand passions, with a shared love of poetry, narcotics and booze.
During the course of their four-year romance, Johnny Depp presented Kate Moss with a diamond necklace — nestled between his buttocks, for a joke — and apparently poured her a bath of 36 bottles of champagne.
When they met, he was 31, she was 20. He introduced the young Croydon model to art galleries, the joy of owning first-edition books and his bohemian heroes, whom she adopted as her own.
Inspired by her lover, Kate developed a love of vintage looks straight out of the Keith Richards/Anita Pallenberg playbook, which helped to form her own style.
Johnny Depp’s ex-girlfriend Kate Moss (pictured together in the 1990s) is gearing up to take the stand in his trial against Amber Heard on Wednesday
During Heard’s testimony, the actress alleged that Depp once shoved Moss down a flight of stairs – however, sources close to the actor said Depp actually ‘tended’ to Moss after she accidentally slipped and fell down the stairs. The couple is pictured together in 1995
This was a global love affair, conducted at the Ritz hotel in Paris and the Chateau Marmont and The Viper Room in Los Angeles, with the couple flying around the world by private jet.
By 1998, Moss had hopes they would marry . . . but just at that point Depp dumped her.
A few weeks later, he met French actress Vanessa Paradis, and within three months she was expecting his baby.
Soon afterwards Kate went to rehab for the first time, and by her own admission she cried ‘for years’.
Depp was the one who got away, and the defining love affair of her life. Some believe she is still half in love with him.
The Kate Moss and Johnny Depp romance will come back into the spotlight today, when she testifies for him via video link in court in Fairfax, Virginia.
Depp is fighting to restore his shattered reputation, suing ex-wife Amber Heard for defamation in a case which essentially re-litigates their divorce and repeats much of the ghastly testimony which gripped the world when he tried to clear his name in the High Court in London last year.
But at least one compelling bit of evidence will be new.
Moss has never accused Depp of hurting her or spoken out about Heard’s claims, but sources say she has been supportive of Depp throughout the trial
Moss was not among the ex-girlfriends who gave statements in the London case, which resulted in Depp being branded a wife-beater by the judge. Only actresses Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder spoke up for him at that point.
However, because Heard made a glancing reference to Kate Moss being pushed down a staircase in testimony last week, Depp’s legal team have the opportunity to call her to make a rebuttal.
My understanding is that, at this stage, the contact between the former lovers is merely at the level of one legal team contacting the other.
However, once the favour has been discharged, Depp will surely get in touch with Moss to thank her. And from that point — who knows what might happen?
For on many levels they are twin souls who appeared to be made for each other.
Their story began at the Cafe Tabac in New York’s East Village in February 1994, when Depp and Moss were introduced by a journalist acquaintance.
Moss later recalled: ‘I knew from that moment that we would be together . . . We just sat down and talked sheer nonsense, and from that moment didn’t want to be apart.’
Maureen Callahan, author of Champagne Supernovas, wrote of the encounter: ‘They had a drink, did some coke, and then went back to his hotel room, where they holed up the next day through a snowstorm.’
Moss and Depp dated from 1994 to 1997, and as two of the biggest names in Hollywood, the stars’ high-profile romance quickly became one of the most talked about pairings of the ’90s. They are pictured in 1994 early into their relationship
Callahan continues: ‘Kate and Johnny were the chicest, druggiest couple since Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg — the epitome of cool in a Trainspotting culture; but Kate was often on edge with Johnny, afraid of his moods.’
A source who was with Kate on her 21st birthday remembers the romance differently.
‘She was just very sweetly and very completely in love with him. She couldn’t stop talking about Johnny and how wonderful he was to her, how he took care of her, protected her and educated her.
‘Yes, there was an undercurrent of grunge culture, but the power of them as a couple was the romance — he would do anything for her.’
One time Depp surprised her at The Viper Room — the night club he owned in Los Angeles — by secretly flying out her divorced parents and her close friend, fashion designer John Galliano.
The group had to wait silently behind a curtain and then jump out on Depp’s signal to give Kate a surprise.
He would meet her in Paris, whisking her off to an £18,000-a-night suite at the Ritz, even though she had her own apartment in the city. It was all part of his culture as a ‘Southern gentleman’ who knew how to treat a lady.
Legend has it they made love in every one of the Chateau Marmont’s 63 bedrooms.
Moss later reflected: ‘There’s no one that’s ever really been able to take care of me. Johnny did for a bit. 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.’
But the love affair was always volatile. In September 1994, in the early days of the romance, Depp trashed the presidential suite at New York’s exclusive Mark Hotel (later the scene of Meghan Markle’s lavish baby shower.)
The explanation given for his outburst was that he had been startled by an armadillo which had come out of one of the closets.
However, no such animal was found by officers during a search. There were also reports that Depp had said he’d seen a cockroach the size of a baseball.
Moss, who had been present, was unhurt and, after declining to leave, Depp was taken to a cell by the NYPD and charged with criminal mischief. However, the charges were later dropped.
Aside from being landed with a $9,000 bill to restore the hotel’s damaged furnishings, no harm seems to have been done.
Depp later said: ‘The owner approached my publicist about two years after the incident and thanked her, saying: “It was so great for us that Johnny got arrested at our hotel. You can’t imagine the business that we got out of it!” ’
The director John Waters told People magazine at the time: ‘I think Johnny obviously has a temper, but this was a very minor incident — the room service must have been bad.’
One friend of Moss says of her relationship with Depp: ‘It was a romance which really shaped her. It’s not about money and bling and showing off — that’s just vulgar and stupid.
‘He got her into Jack Kerouac and Iggy Pop, Hunter S. Thompson and William Burroughs. He took her to art galleries.
‘He also changed the way she looked. Before she met Johnny, Kate would wear a pair of trainers and a slip dress — afterwards it was all about vintage looks.
‘Johnny idolised the Rolling Stones, and although he is from Kentucky he passed on a love of that very quintessentially British boho culture.
‘There was a really obvious influence on her in smaller ways, too. He told her that it’s more clever to subvert, not to just be a passive mainstream consumer. He schooled her in being cool.’
There were ‘bust-ups’ during the romance, sparked mostly by Moss’s jealousy and Depp’s mood swings.
At this point, Depp was working constantly, having been made a star by Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands.
He filmed Ed Wood, Don Juan DeMarco, Donnie Brasco and Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas pretty much back to back, and also made his directorial debut with The Brave, which he co-wrote.
Author Maureen Callaghan quotes a friend as saying of Moss: ‘She’d phone him all the time, on sets, in hotels. She never expressed concern about his drug use — she expressed concern about being separated from him on jobs.’
Moss said later: ‘He was away a lot of the time and I’d go shopping, that ladies-who-lunch crap. It was so boring. The most lonely, shallow place.
‘I was going insane. I’m not normally a depressed person, but I got really sad . . . and we grew apart.’
They split briefly in 1997, because of her partying and ‘the clinginess’. Moss was seen being comforted by a number of men, including actor Leonardo Di Caprio. But she and Depp reconciled — she missed him.
The rekindled romance lasted only six months. In January 1998, Depp reportedly ordered 36 bottles of champagne to fill a Victorian bathtub at the Portobello Hotel in Notting Hill.
Moss’s agent denied it, saying: ‘It was not Kate — it’s not her style. She doesn’t use the hotel any more.’
Their final outing as a couple was at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1998, where Depp was promoting the film Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas.
They often got into heated arguments, and on one occasion, a disagreement led to Depp being arrested for trashing a hotel room. They are pictured in 1995
Moss had a run-in with the management of the Hotel Du Cap, where they were staying, after being told that it wasn’t appropriate for her to run around the corridors in a bikini. It’s said that she damaged their room and was banned from the place for life as a result.
Not long after, Depp spoke regretfully about his single status in an interview. He told Hello! magazine: ‘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. I’m a total moron at times.’
He added: ‘I have to get out there now and find the right candidate to be the mother of my children. I am coming up to 35 and you get broody.
‘Why shouldn’t a guy get broody? Some people imagine that because of the movies I make, or just the way they perceive me to be, that I wouldn’t make a great father. They don’t know me at all.’
A few weeks later, in the summer of 1998, Depp bumped into French actress Vanessa Paradis in the lobby of a hotel in Paris. Once again, it was love at first sight.
This time, though, everything was different: Paradis fell pregnant in August 1998 (their daughter, Lily Rose, arrived in May 1999).
Moss was devastated, and in December 1998 she checked into the Priory for five weeks.
She later told The Face magazine: ‘I never wanted to go to rehab . . . I had lost the plot really.’
The problem wasn’t just her lifestyle, though. She was also heartbroken. In another interview, she said that she had cried ‘for years’ after their break-up.
A source says: ‘She knew she had lost Johnny for good when Vanessa got pregnant. She lost him to fatherhood — there was no going back from that.
‘It was very painful. She hoped they would get married, and then he makes it work with the next person who comes along.’
Depp was enchanted by the sophisticated Paradis. He told friends: ‘She reminds me of Kate, but much easier.’
Their paths diverged.
Depp and Paradis went on to have a son, Jack, and he took those mega-money-spinning roles in the Pirates Of The Caribbean movie franchise.
Kate, meanwhile, embarked on a wild period — her Primrose Hill years — burning through one crazy fling after another.
It was Depp who had arguably established her on a debauched path which came to an end only after the ‘Cocaine Kate’ episode in 2005, when she was filmed snorting what appeared to be lines of the drug in a recording studio. She was with then-boyfriend Pete Doherty, a grubbier iteration of Depp’s Byronic charm.
Ever the gentleman, Depp was among a handful of voices to defend her at that time. He said: ‘The first thing that went through my mind was I was concerned for her, hoping that she was OK.’
Now, with her former lover’s reputation at an all-time low, Kate finally has a chance to repay the favour.
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