Dirty Dancing actor Jennifer Grey said yes to marrying Johnny Depp relatively soon after she called off her engagement to Matthew Broderick. According to her, Depp was like a “mirage” and someone she thought manifested as a reward in her life following a painful period.
Keep reading to learn more about both relationships, why Grey thought a higher power put her into a “Johnny Depp souffle,” and who got a ring from Depp soon after their breakup.
Jennifer Grey and Matthew Broderick got engaged after breaking up
First, Grey dated Broderick and was with him in a 1987 car accident in Ireland that killed two people. In Out of the Corner: A Memoir, she wrote that she experienced survivor’s guilt following that tragedy.
Though her relationship with Broderick grew “toxic,” she put herself on “automatic pilot” and tried to make it work until things felt normal again. But she said he eventually asked her to choose between him and her first major movie premiere. And she decided to attend the event.
“Flying home for the premiere of my first big movie meant only one thing: that I was not a good person,” she shared. Despite her guilt, they made their relationship work a while longer before they broke up.
But Broderick later called Grey asking to see her, she wrote in her memoir. He showed up with a Tiffany engagement ring and suggested, “Let’s spend the rest of our miserable lives together.”
Grey eventually accepted the proposal, but the wedding wasn’t meant to be. The bliss of the engagement wore off, and they ended things again.
Jennifer Grey and Johnny Depp got engaged in their first weeks of dating
Grey noted in her memoir she met Depp “one week after fleeing the scene of the crime,” which was the end of her engagement to Broderick. When her agent wanted to set her up with a fresh-faced actor, she agreed to go on a blind date.
“… As I swing open the heavy security gate, there, under the streetlight, standing in front of a nondescript old sedan, is the most beautiful man-boy I’ve maybe ever seen,” she wrote, describing Depp. He “set off an electrical storm” in her, and she wondered, “What exactly am I looking at?”
“He’s like an apparition. An angel,” she went on. “If a mirage could have been a person in the summer of 1988, that mirage would have been Johnny Depp.”
He asked her to marry him within two weeks and, like Broderick, got her a Tiffany engagement ring. While they were together, she wrote in her journal she was “pretty sure” it was the first time she was in love. “He’s kind, funny, smart, moral, thoughtful, respectful,” she said to describe him.
In 2022, Grey visited The Drew Barrymore Show where host Drew Barrymore told her she read up on her life. She shared, “I did get a little bit obsessed with all the cute boys that you’ve known and dated. And got engaged to.”
Barrymore asked if Depp really proposed within a few weeks, and Grey told her, “It’s worse than that.”
Then, she plainly told the crowd she was engaged to both Broderick and Depp in the same month. “I just thought it was God rescuing me from one bad situation and just lovingly plopping me into a Johnny Depp souffle,” she explained.
Johnny Depp moved on from Jennifer Grey and got engaged to Winona Ryder
Grey broke up with Depp after nine months after she said he started getting “crazy jealous and paranoid” about what happened while he was out of town. While she attributed his “ill temper” to feeling “miserable and powerless” in his career, she eventually ended their romance with a note.
The split left her heartbroken, but things were going alright for her at first. “That is until I learned that my darling neighbor was banging my ex,” she noted in her memoir. And that neighbor was Winona Ryder.
After five months of dating, Depp proposed to his Edward Scissorhands co-star. They never married, either.