I used to go out with a bag over my head... Life was aw­ful

No, we can’t be­lieve it ei­ther. But as Vanessa Par­adis – Mrs Johnny Depp – re­veals, it wasn’t be­cause she was wor­ried about her looks... By Jon Wilde

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FEATURE -

Vanessa Chan­tal Par­adis, 39, is now best known as Johnny Depp’s other half – but the Parisi­enne be­came an in­ter­na­tional su­per­star in her own right at the age of 14 when she re­leased the sin­gle Joe Le Taxi. She has con­tin­ued to make al­bums over the years, also branch­ing out into mod­el­ling and act­ing. Her most re­cent film was an ac­claimed turn in Cana­dian di­rec­tor Jean-marc Val­lée’s Café De Flore, in which she plays the sin­gle mother of a Down syn­drome child. Par­adis and Depp have two chil­dren, Li­lyRose, 12, and Jack, 10. I am very used to be­ing dis­liked. When my first record came out, it was a big suc­cess. It was ev­ery­where and no one could es­cape it, to the point where I be­came an an­noy­ance. Hor­ri­ble things were said about me. Hate­ful slo­gans were painted on the walls out­side my house. Peo­ple would spit at me in the street. It got so bad that I would go out with a bag over my head. It wasn’t a fun time. I was for­tu­nate to have par­ents who helped me through that dif­fi­cult pe­riod. They were al­ways there for me with the right words. Along with the be­lief in my singing and act­ing, it was my par­ents’ love that made me feel I could cope. With­out that I don’t think I’d have been strong enough to en­dure all the neg­a­tiv­ity. Johnny is a good teacher. He has enor­mous pa­tience, which was needed when he taught me to play gui­tar. He not only bought me a beau­ti­ful gui­tar; he showed me how to bring mu­sic from it. He needed to be pa­tient, be­cause I’m a slow learner. To be hon­est, my gui­tarplay­ing is re­ally pa­thetic. I don’t prac­tise enough. But I love the in­stru­ment. When you own a gui­tar you’re

never lonely. I’d never rule out do­ing a movie with Johnny, but there’s some­thing scary about the idea. We’ve worked to­gether on mu­sic and it’s been a very pos­i­tive ex­per ience. We al­most worked to­gether on the Terry Gil­liam film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, and we were ready for it, but that project was can­celled. Serge Gains­bourg taught me to think and speak for my­self. At 17 I stayed at his house for three months and he pro­duced my sec­ond al­bum in the last year of his life. I got to know him well just at the time when I was turn­ing from girl to woman. When we

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