GERRY Conlon would have stood by his close pal Johnny Depp over wife-beating allegations, his biographer has said.
The campaigner and the Hollywood actor, accused of domestic violence by ex-wife Amber Heard, were so close that Mr Depp said he would have "taken a bullet for him".
The Pirates of the Caribbean star's libel action against The Sun newspaper ended on Tuesday after 16 days of shocking accusations and counter-accusations against the actor (57) and his 34-year-old former spouse. Judgement is due in the case in September or October.
But Mr Conlon, who was wrongly convicted over the Guildford pub bombings and died in 2014, would have stuck by Mr Depp, according to biographer and lifelong friend Richard O'Rawe.
He also told Sunday Life, however, he would have advised his movie star friend against taking the libel case, which heard allegations of violence from both sides, all denied.
Mr Depp acknowledged taking multiple drugs over the years, including cocaine, ecstasy and magic mushrooms, but he vehemently denied acting violently towards his ex-wife.
Among numerous shocking claims, the actress alleged he once threw a magnum bottle of champagne at her.
Mr Depp claimed, however, his ex-wife was abusive towards him and once even defecated in their bed - claims she later denied.
Ms Heard told the High Court in London that her former husband threatened to kill her many times during their tumultuous relationship.
With the case now at an end, Mr O'Rawe is certain Gerry Conlon would have stuck with Johnny Depp through thick and then.
"Gerry loved him, absolutely loved him - he thought he was the bee's knees," he said.
"Gerry would have been aghast at all these allegations. He probably would have said to him, 'Don't do it (the case)', because he was going to expose (things about his life).
"Gerry would have been totally backing Johnny up. He'd have been over in London making sure Johnny knew that he was physically there and supporting him.
"Their friendship was so strong that when Johnny was in London or Gerry was in L.A, they would have met up for something to eat. They were really good friends and very close.
"Gerry knew that Johnny took drugs. Gerry took drugs with him, but that's the way it was. That's life. He would have been absolutely supporting him."
Released from prison after his conviction was quashed in 1989, the Belfast man went on to strike up an unlikely friendship with the Hollywood megastar when they met in the US a year later.
The actor even penned a heartfelt eight-page foreword to Mr O'Rawe's biography In The Name Of The Son: The Gerry Conlon Story.
The writer said the picture painted of Mr Depp in court was at odds with descriptions from Gerry and his sister Ann.
He added: "I didn't know him that well, but my understanding of him was that he was a very sweet man, a very kind man.
"During the stuff that I got for the book, I spoke to Ann Conlon, who was a great friend of Johnny's, and I also spoke to Gerry about him (Mr Depp) when Gerry was alive.
"I never got any impression whatsoever that he was in any way violent.
"When I was researching the books, those to whom I spoke about him had nothing but praise.
"He actually came across as quite a timid person.
"I interviewed a girl for the book who ran around with Gerry and Shane MacGowan and Johnny Depp. There was about 20 of them and they were all students back in the day during the late eighties early nineties.
"She said that he (Mr Depp) was like a mouse.
"Just after making Edward Scissorhands, they went to a club and there was a poster of it on the wall outside. They wanted to go for a drink and they weren't allowed in. He didn't stand up and say, 'That's me. I'm Edward Scissorhands. I'm Johnny Depp. For f*** sake, let us in'.
"He just stood at the back like a mouse, so that's the impression that I got of him."
Mr O'Rawe also admitted he was surprised by the frank admissions the actor made during the trial.
"I take a great, close interest in this, as you would expect, and the one thing that struck me about the trial was Johnny Depp's honesty," he told Sunday Life.
"He was brutally honest about his life, about his drug-taking and his defects.
"I was just really struck by his approach. He could have been probably a bit more circumspect in my view in some of his answers, but he was brutally honest. That's just the way I viewed it.
"It was a horrendous thing for him to have to do in that forum. He risked his whole career in taking this case.
"I mean, if he hadn't have taken this case, it could probably just have been one of those ones that drifted off into the ether.
"But he felt strongly enough about it to take the case and in doing so he laid bare his whole soul. That's just the way I see it.
"I admire him for that honesty, absolutely. It takes a big man to stand up in front of a judge and the world's press and say, 'Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Here are my sins'."
THE DUP's Ian Paisley has revealed he prays for Sinn Fein deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill every day, saying his faith is "more important to me than all of the political stuff".