Depp's ex-lovers come to his defense in libel case
LONDON — Two former romantic partners of actor Johnny Depp came to his defense Wednesday in his libel suit against British newspaper The Sun, dismissing claims that he was violent or abusive.
Actresses Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder offered supportive statements for the “Pirates of the Caribbean’’ star, who is suing the tabloid paper's publisher, News Group Newspapers, over an April 2018 article which referred to the 56-year-old Depp as a “wife-beater.”
The article contained allegations by Depp’s ex-wife, Amber Heard, who filed for divorce after requesting a domestic violence restraining order. Depp has strenuously denied the allegations.
In a hearing conducted remotely, lawyers for Depp argued that statements from Ryder and Paradis should be included as evidence in the actor's case against the publisher.
“We’ve been partners for 14 years, and we raised our two children together,’’ Paradis said, court documents show. “Through all these years, I’ve known Johnny to be a kind, attentive, generous, and non-violent person and father.”
Common pushes for jail releases during pandemic
NEW YORK — Rapper and activist Common went into quarantine concerned about incarcerated people he has met during visits to jails, prisons and juvenile detention centers around the U.S. and who aren't able to maintain social distance or adopt rigorous hygiene routines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“It’s a troubling time for them,” Common said, “because they are the people who usually are overlooked.”
On Wednesday, his criminal justice reform organization Imagine Justice launched a campaign with dozens of advocacy and activist groups calling attention to the threat that the coronavirus pandemic poses on millions of men, women and youths who are incarcerated in the U.S.
The campaign, dubbed #WeMatterToo, is urging authorities to immediately release people who have served the vast majority of their sentences, especially if they have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19. Although state and local correctional institutions have already released thousands of people from confinement because of the pandemic, supporters of the campaign also want governments to pay for testing and housing for inmates after they are released.