Hedonistic actor Johnny Depp doubts he would have reached his 40th birthday if it had not been for long-time love Vanessa Paradis.

The Hollywood hellraiser, currently starring in Pirates Of The Caribbean: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, had a reputation as a hard-drinking party animal who lived life to the extreme.

But all that changed when he met French singer-actress Vanessa, with whom he has children LILY-ROSE and JACK.

Johnny explains, "At the time, I almost didn't care. It had to do with me being ignorant enough to think I could self-medicate to the point of numbness.

"None of that stuff was about recreation. It was all about being a dumb ass, who was just sort of confused with what life was and what I wanted it to be.

"Then Vanessa came along and saved my life. She gave me life. Lives, I mean - Lily-Rose and Jack. Kids don't just give you perspective, they give you strength. What's important is their safety, their well-being, their future."

07/08/2003 17:34