September 26, 2022


  • Christina Ricci says Johnny Depp taught her what it means to be gay in a phone call when she was 9 years old.
  • Depp was dating Winona Ryder when Richie asked Ryder what it meant to be gay on the set of Mermaids.
  • Ryder put Richie on the phone with Depp to explain.

Christina Ricci said Johnny Depp explained what gay meant to her in a phone call when she was 9 years old while filming “Mermaids.”

“Johnny [Depp] he’s actually the person who explained homosexuality to me when I was 9,” he told Andy Cohen during an interview with SiriusXM Live’s Andy Cohen released on Thursday.

The “Yellow Vests” star said the conversation stemmed from a homophobic incident that happened on the set of the movie, which she called “her first set.”

“There was something going on on set and someone was not nice to someone else. And they said, ‘oh, well he might be homophobic.’ And then I was like, ‘well, I don’t understand what that is,'” the Emmy-nominated actress continued.

Winona Ryder, Cher, Christina Ricci in a publicity portrait for the film

Winona Ryder, Cher and Christina Ricci starred in the movie “Mermaids” in 1990.

Photo by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)


Ricci recalled turning to her “Mermaids” co-star Winona Ryder for clarity. Ryder, who was dating Depp at the time, had trouble expressing homosexuality to the queer young actress, so she asked her partner for help.

“He was like, ‘I don’t know how…’ so he got me on the phone with Johnny. And Johnny explained it to me,” Ricci told Cohen.

She said Depp used the simplest terms to explain homosexuality to her. “He was like, ‘It’s when a man wants to have sex with a man and when a woman wants to have sex with a woman.’ And I said, ‘oh, okay,'” Richie recalls.

Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp in Los Angeles, California circa 1990

Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp in Los Angeles, California circa 1990.

Barry King/WireImage


Depp and Ryder were in a relationship for four years, from 1989 to 1993. “Mermaids” was released in 1990.

Cohen pointed out the irony of Ritchie talking to Ryder and Depp when fellow “Mermaids” actress Cher, who many consider a queer icon, was around. “I love that Winona Ryder had to get you on the phone with Johnny Depp to figure out that he couldn’t spit on her somehow — or, I mean, you have Cher in the next trailer.” he said.

“I know, we should have run right there,” Richie joked.

Watch the entire conversation below.



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