SHANE MacGowan last night defended his close friend Johnny Depp and declared: “He would never hit a woman”.
he Pogues star exclusively told the Sunday World he was “dumbfounded” at accusations by Johnny’s ex-wife Amber Heard that the actor used to violently beat her.
“I know Johnny and he’s a gentleman, he’s a great guy,” stressed Shane (62). “He would never raise a hand to a woman, never mind hit a woman.
“He would never do anything like that.”
He added: “Of course I’d defend Johnny. What’s been said about him is all lies. I wish Johnny the best of luck with his case.”
Asked how he first became friendly with the superstar, he replies: “Years ago when he first came over here. Over 30 years ago. We hit it off and have remained friends to this day.”
So much so, Johnny took part in two of the most-special moments in Shane’s life in recent years.
In January 2018, the Pirates of the Caribbean star flew to Dublin to take part in a star-studded concert in the National Concert Hall to mark Shane’s 60th birthday, which included performances by Bono, Sinead O’Connor, Nick Cave, Cerys Matthews and Bobby Gillespie and was attended by President Michael D Higgins.
Depp played guitar that night when Bono performed The Pogues’ classic ‘A Rainy Night In Soho’.
“Lots of people came to it,” explains Shane. “I wasn’t really surprised Johnny came, but I was pleased. He is a great guitarist.”
Johnny also attended Shane’s wedding to his long-term love Vicky Clarke in Copenhagen in November 2018.
“It’s the least I should expect,” the lovable singer smiles.
When jokingly asked was Shane not tempted to have picked Johnny as his best man, he retorts: “I would have, but I didn’t pick the best man. I can’t remember who did.”
Shane says he has not really been following the sensational libel case in the High Court in London, which concluded its evidence on Friday after three weeks of witness statements, including appearances by Depp and Heard. The defence and prosecution will make their closing arguments tomorrow and Tuesday.
Depp is taking action against The Sun newspaper over their allegation he is a “wife-beater”. He has also taken a separate against in America against Heard for defamation.
“Vicky has been following it and knows more about it, I haven’t so much,” notes Shane.
The legendary Pogues frontman added that a new album he is recording with the Cronin brothers is “getting there slowly, but getting there” and reveals he still has trouble walking but his health is “ok”.
Depp (57) first met Heard (34) when they were both starring in The Rum Diary movie in 2011.
The actress wrapped up her evidence on Friday, accusing her ex-husband of abusing her when he was high on drugs or was drunk.
She claimed Depp was on a “bender” that would often last days.
“Johnny, when he was clean and sober, could be a wonderful person, generous, loving,” the bisexual actress said. “He’s a remarkable man when he’s like that and I loved him. The other side of him was a monster but I always held out hope he would get clean and sober.”
In her first three days of testimony, Heard accused Depp of an array of acts of violence, including throwing bottles at her “like grenades” and headbutting her. She has claimed that she often feared for her life during their tempestuous relationship.
Previously unseen footage of Amber Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, after she was allegedly attacked by the actress was shown in court on Friday having been sent to Depp’s legal team anonymously.
The clip was dramatically played, with Depp’s barrister David Sherborne telling the court it was sent by a “confidential source” – after Whitney gave evidence to say her sister had never been violent towards her.
The Sun’s defence relies on 14 allegations made by Heard of violence by Depp between 2013 and 2016, in settings as varied as a rented house in Australia, his private island in the Bahamas and a private jet.
Depp denies abusing Heard and claims she was the aggressor during their relationship.
During the first two weeks of case testimony, judge Andrew Nicol heard from Depp and from several current or former employees who backed his version of events.
Depp’s lawyers maintain Heard has invented her stories of serious violence. In his evidence Depp admitted taking drugs and drinking excessively, but insisted he never deliberately hit Heard.
He also said the couple’s tempestuous marriage broke down for good after an incident in which faeces were found in their bed following a party. Heard blamed one of the couple’s dogs, but Depp was convinced a person had done it.
In court, Ben King who worked for Depp as a house manager in 2014 and 2015, said he frequently witnessed Heard goading Depp but never saw Depp being violent.
Sean Bett who has, for the past nine years, worked in security for Depp said Heard was verbally and physically abusive to Depp
Vanessa Paradis said in a statement read in court that she had lived with Depp for 14 years and has two children from their relationship, said: “Through all of these years, I’ve known Johnny to be a kind, attentive, generous and non-violent person.”