Amber Heard Settles Defamation Case With Johnny Depp for Reported $1 Million

Amber Heard plans to settle the appeal brought against her by ex-husband Johnny Depp instead of litigating it, according to Depp’s lawyers, as well as withdraw the appeal she filed earlier this month. 

The actor announced this “very difficult decision” in a lengthy statement posted to her Instagram account on Monday morning. A Virginia jury previously found Heard guilty of defaming Depp in her Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence, awarding the Pirates of the Caribbean star $10.35 million in damages. But they ruled that Heard had been defamed as well, awarding her $2 million in compensation. At the beginning of November, Depp filed an appeal, claiming that the jury had wrongfully ruled in his ex-wife’s favor by saying that one of his attorneys, Adam Waldman, defamed her when he told the Daily Mail that Heard’s claims of abuse were a “hoax.” Depp claimed in the filing that he shouldn’t be legally held responsible for comments made by his attorney.

In her statement, Heard explained that while she has decided to settle this appeal, “This is not an act of concession. There are no restrictions or gags with respect to my voice moving forward.” In a statement to NBC, Depp’s attorneys said they are “pleased to formally close the door on this painful chapter for Mr. Depp, who made clear throughout this process his intent to bring the truth to light.” Heard noted that she’s also exhausted almost all of her resources attempting to fight this case. “It’s important for me to say that I never chose this,” she wrote. “I defended my truth and in doing so my life as I knew it was destroyed. The vilification I have face on social media is an amplified version of the ways in which women are re-victimised when they come forward.” She added that going through the entire ordeal has cause her to lose faith in the American legal system “where my unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder.” She went on to compare her treatment in the US to the way her testimony was received during Depp’s November 2020 libel case in the UK against The Sun over the outlet calling him a “wife beater.” She wrote that in America she felt like “popularity and power mattered more than reason and due process,” adding, “I was exposed to a type of humiliation that I simply cannot re-live…I simply cannot go through that for a third time.” The judge in the UK case ruled in favor of The Sun, calling the allegations against Depp “substantially true.”

The Aquaman star shared, “Time is precious and I want to spend my time productively and purposefully. For too many years I have been caged in an arduous and expensive legal process, which has shown itself unable to protect me and my right to free speech. I cannot afford to risk an impossible bill—one that is not just financial, but also psychological, physical, and emotional. Women shouldn’t have to face abuse or bankruptcy for speaking her truth, but unfortunately it is not uncommon.” Heard concluded, “I will not be threatened, disheartened or dissuaded by what happened from speaking the truth. No one can and no one will take that from me. My voice forever remains the most valuable asset I have.”

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