Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp were one of the biggest celeb couples back in the day – but their love story was not destined to last.
The pair first struck up a romance in the late ‘80s and it was love at first sight for Johnny. In fact, he even got a tattoo dedicated to the Beetlejuice star.
With fans and the media smitten with their relationship, Winona and Johnny quickly made plenty of headlines in the years they were together. And things were going from strength to strength for the couple as they got engaged too.
However, after four years together, Winona and Johnny called it quits. A statement at the time said: “They’re young, and they grew apart” – but both actors have since spoken about their split in more detail.
From an iconic tattoo in tribute to their boo to their eight-year age difference, it’s fair to say became one of the most talked-about couples.
So, as Winona celebrates her 52nd birthday on Sunday (October 29) Daily Star is taking a look inside her relationship with Johnny Depp.
Engaged after five months
Winona and Johnny first met at the Great Balls of Fire movie premiere in 1989. According to Johnny, the pair never spoke that night – but locked eyes as he grabbed a drink. Taking to Rolling Stone, he says was already smitten. “I knew then," he told the publication.
Fast forward a few months and the pair started dating. And it didn’t take long for them to take the next step in the relationship, as five months later Winona and Johnny got engaged.
According to the Heathers star, he was her “first real everything.” InStyle reports that she has been quoted saying: “When I met Johnny, I was a pure virgin.
“He changed that. He was my first everything. My first real kiss. My first real boyfriend. My first fiancé. The first guy I had sex with. So he’ll always be in my heart. Forever,” she added.
Winona and Johnny quickly became one of Hollywood’s biggest celeb couples. And in 1990 the pair were cast in their first movie together: Edwards Scissorhands.
With the couple's real-life love story going from strength to strength in the early ‘90s, Johnny even got a tatt dedicated to his missus. The actor had "Winona Forever" inked on his body.
In June of 1993, and after three years of dating, Johnny and Winona called off their engagement. A statement at the time said: "They’re young, and they grew apart."
Following their split, Winona said she felt she was at “rock bottom, according to The New York Times. At the time, she was battling with insomnia and anxiety attacks – something she said was down to not only the breakup but because she was “overworked.”
During an interview with Cinema.com she also candidly revealed: “I was very depressed after breaking off my engagement with Johnny. I was embarrassingly dramatic at the time, but you have to remember I was only 19 years old.”
As for what helped her get over her ex, Winona said: "One night I fell asleep with a lit cigarette and woke up to the flames. I haven't visited that dark side since. That was what you might say my 'wake-up call.”
The reason for their split was unclear but Johnny seemed to hint that they had too much pressure from the media. In an interview with Los Angeles Times he said: "It’s very hard to have a personal life in this town.
“My relationship with Winona, it was my mistake to be as open as we were, but I thought if we were honest it would destroy that curiosity monster. Instead, it fed it, gave people license to feel they were part of it."
Heartbroken, Johnny even changed his "Winona Forever" tattoo to "Wino Forever.” However, he didn’t regret getting the tatt.
“I think for me, these tattoos are a journal," he revealed. "As opposed to writing it on a piece of paper, I just took the initiative and put it on my skin. So I wear my journal. But even though we’re not together anymore, it doesn’t take away from the honesty of when I got the tattoo."
Emotional on set
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Months after his relationship with Winona ended, Johnny was back on set filming a new Tim Burton flick. But it seemed Johnny was still feeling heartbroken about the split.
According to director Tim, Johnny would turn up to set with tears rolling down his face. He recalled: "I felt so bad. I asked him why it happened but all he said was: 'It wasn’t her fault, it was mine.'
“It wasn’t the same as Winona. I felt weird to be around him like he wasn’t acting like Johnny anymore." Tim added: "It’s almost like Winona took Johnny's soul. Johnny’s love.”
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