Amber Heard settles libel case with Johnny Depp

Actors Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have settled their defamation case, which Heard summed up as “a very difficult decision” and the result of his “loss of faith in the American justice system”.

According to Depp’s legal team, Heard agreed to pay her ex-husband $1 million in the settlement, a significant drop from the $15 million in damages a Virginia court awarded against the man. actor in June.

“It’s important for me to say that I never chose that. I stood up for my truth and in doing so my life as I knew it was destroyed,” Heard wrote in a post on Instagram Monday.

Depp’s attorneys told HuffPost in a statement that they are satisfied with the closure of the case and that the judgment against Heard remains “fully in place.” The payment “reinforces Ms. Heard’s recognition of the conclusion of the justice system’s rigorous pursuit of justice,” attorneys Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez said.

The million dollars will be donated to charity, according to Depp’s attorneys.

A source close to Depp told HuffPost that the funds will come from Heard’s insurance.

Depp sued Heard for defamation over a 2018 Washington Post opinion piece in which she identified herself as a victim of domestic violence. The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star has denied Heard’s abuse allegations.

While Heard was ordered to pay damages to her ex-husband – which her lawyers recently appealed – she was also awarded $2 million in compensatory damages for a statement made by a lawyer for Depp which she called defamatory.

Heard said Monday that the settlement does not prevent her from being able to speak freely, although Depp’s source told HuffPost that the judgment could still be used against her if she continues to repeat her abuse allegations.

“I made no admissions. This is not an act of concession. There are no restrictions or gags as far as my voice goes forward,” Heard wrote.

Heard is seen walking out of the courthouse next to her sister, Whitney Heard, in June.  Heard said Monday that his deal with Depp "is not an act of concession."
Heard is seen walking out of the courthouse next to her sister, Whitney Heard, in June. Heard said Monday his deal with Depp “is not an act of concession.”

Consolidated news images via Getty Images

The ‘Aquaman’ actor says settling the case is kind of a last resort; even if she were successful in appealing, she said she would not want to submit to a new trial.

“I cannot afford to risk an impossible bill – a bill that is not only financial, but also psychological, physical and emotional,” she wrote. “Women shouldn’t be abused or bankrupted for telling the truth, but sadly that’s not uncommon.”

The former couple faced a sensational week-long trial in which their personal lives were shown on TV screens around the world, ridiculed on social media and widely used as entertainment.

Heard compared the experience to a previous trial that took place in the UK over a tabloid headline calling Depp a “wife beater”. That lawsuit ended in 2020, with the court determining that Heard was abused by Depp, as she claimed.

“When I appeared before a judge in the UK, I was vindicated by a strong, impartial and fair system, where I was protected from having to give the worst moments of my testimony before the media around the world , and where the court found that I suffered domestic and sexual abuse,” she wrote.

Heard said her experience in the United States, by comparison, left her broken and suspicious of her country’s legal system.

Now that the legal battle is behind her, she said she wants to spend her time “productively and purposefully.” Heard didn’t give any additional details about her plans, but said she would focus “on the work that helped me heal after my divorce,” which she says makes her “feel seen, heard and believed, and in which I know I can effect change.

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