‘I know the truth about Johnny’: Why Kate Moss testified on behalf of Depp

A woman in a black suit raising a hand on a screen in a courtroom.
Model Kate Moss testifies during Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s 2022 defamation trial in Virginia.
(Evelyn Hockstein / Associated Press)

For the first time since taking the witness stand in Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s turbulent defamation trial, Kate Moss is speaking up about her experience testifying on behalf of her ex-boyfriend.

The British model, who dated the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor from 1994 to 1998, recently explained her decision to support Depp during an episode of the BBC Radio 4 podcast “Desert Island Discs.”

“I believe in the truth and I believe in fairness and justice,” Moss said. “I know the truth about Johnny.”

Moss made headlines with her brief but pivotal court appearance in late May. While testifying via video from Gloucestershire, England, the ‘90s style icon debunked a longstanding rumor that Depp once shoved her down a staircase while they were vacationing together in Jamaica.


Model Kate Moss, Depp’s girlfriend in the ’90s, set the record straight with testimony about what happened on those stairs in Jamaica. Depp agreed.

May 25, 2022

Depp’s team — which ended up winning his case — took advantage of the opportunity to call Moss to the stand after Heard referenced the staircase story while testifying that her ex-husband, Depp, was abusive.

“I know he never kicked me down the stairs,” Moss told BBC Radio 4. “I had to say that truth.”

At the end of their highly publicized defamation trial, jurors in Fairfax, Va., awarded $15 million in damages to Depp and $2 million in damages to Heard. However, per Virginia’s statutory cap, Judge Penney Azcarate reduced Depp’s total to about $10.4 million.

Leading up to the verdict, Moss’ bombshell testimony marked a turning point in the case that likely benefited Depp and hurt Heard, who had already been widely vilified on social media. On Thursday, Heard filed to appeal the verdict, while a spokesperson for Depp remained “confident” that the “verdict will stand.” Depp has also filed to appeal the jury’s decision to award $2 million to Heard.

A day after Amber Heard appealed the verdict in their defamation case, Johnny Depp filed his own appeal to challenge the court’s recent decision.

July 22, 2022

“[Depp] never pushed me, kicked me or threw me down any stairs,” Moss testified earlier this year.


“There had been a rainstorm, and as I left the room, I slid down the stairs and I hurt my back. ... I screamed, ’cause I didn’t know what happened to me, and I was in pain. [Depp] came running back to help me and carried me to my room and got me medical attention.”

While speaking with BBC Radio 4, Moss also opened up about traumatic experiences she endured early in her modeling career. At one point, she recalled a man asking her to remove her shirt and bra during a photo shoot for a catalog when she was about 15 years old.

“He said, ‘Take your top off,’ and I took my top off,” Moss said. “I was really shy then about my body. And he said, ‘Take your bra off,’ and I could feel there was something wrong, so I got my stuff, and I ran away.”

The dueling defamation cases between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard came to a simple end: She defamed him, but she won $2 million in her countersuit.

June 1, 2022

“It sharpened my instincts,” she added. “I can tell a wrong ‘un a mile away.”

Now, Moss has created her own talent agency and hopes to help rising models today — including her own daughter, Lila — avoid similarly exploitative situations.

“I’ve said to [Lila], you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. If you don’t want to do this shoot, if you don’t feel comfortable, if you don’t want to model, don’t do it,” Moss told BBC Radio 4.

“I take care of my models. I make sure that they are with agents at shoots so when they are being taken advantage of, there’s somebody there to say, ‘I don’t think that’s appropriate.’ I don’t know if that’s across the board, but absolutely, that’s what I can do.”