September 12, 2012 12:13 PM EST
Johnny Depp Shares Tattoo With Damien Echols Of The West Memphis Three [PHOTOS]
Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has reportedly helped a man named Damien Echols be released from the Arkansas' death row. Echols became like a brother to the "Pirates of The Caribbean" actor and they even got matching tattoos.
According to reports, Damien Echols revealed that they often end up in a tattoo parlor whenever he and the 49-year old Depp get together. For Johnny Depp, it is about celebrating the moment. "We have some," Depp said as he touched a tattoo on the right side of his chest.
"This one Damien designed. It's one of my all-time favorites, and it means quite a lot to me," Depp told The Associated Press at the Toronto International Film Festival before the premiere of the documentary "West of Memphis" which is a story about Damien Echols and his two co-defendants.
Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin spent 18 years in prison for the 1993 murders of three 8-year old boys in West Memphis. After an agreement to an Alford plea that allowed Echols, Misskelley and Baldwin maintain their innocence while pleading guilty to the crimes, all three were released from prison. They were also the subjects of the "Paradise Lost" documentaries that captured Johnny Depp's interest on the case.
"You saw those initial documentaries, you make a choice: Am I going to watch the thing and go 'Wow, that's really horrible,' and go out and get a milkshake," Depp said.
Meanwhile, Johnny Depp together with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, musician Henry Rollins and acclaimed film director Peter Jackson, who produced "West Memphis," all helped in paying the legal fees in order to free the three men.
"He's been with us every single step of the way. Since we've gotten out, he's become like a brother to me. And that's one of the things we always do just as part of that bond is whenever you get tattoos like that, it's something you carry with you through the rest of your life and it's really meaningful," Damien Echols said about his friendship with Johnny Depp. Echols also revealed that Johnny Depp's support was not only limited to his time in prison.
Now that he is finally a free man, the 37-year old Damien Echols always wears sunglasses because his eyes are still adjusting for he was not able to see much daylight after spending so many years behind bars in a prison cell.