Amber Heard settles Johnny Depp defamation case
Amber Heard announced her decision to settle her defamation case against Johnny Depp.
In the statement posted to her Instagram, Heard wrote, “After a great deal of deliberation I have made a very difficult decision to settle the defamation case brought against me by my ex-husband in Virginia.”
Heard went on to emphasize that she “never chose this” and that she has “made no admission” and that the decision was “not an act of concession.”
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In regard to her motivation to settle, Heard cited her difficult experience with the American legal system during the highly-publicized trial in which Depp accused Heard of defaming him in her 2018 op-ed for the Washington Post. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. A Virginia judge later reduced the punitive damages to $350,000 due to statutory limits.
“I defended my truth and in doing so my life as I knew it was destroyed,” Heard stated. “The vilification I have faced on social media is an amplified version of the ways in which women are re-victimised when they come forward.”
Heard continued, “I make this decision having lost faith in the American legal system, where my unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder.”
Heard went on to state that even if her U.S. appeal was successful, “the best outcome would be a re-trial where a new jury would have to consider the evidence again.”
Despite this, she expressed that she “cannot go through that for a third time.”
Amber Heard speaks on her future plans
Heard also addressed her future plans in her statement, stating that “time is precious” and sharing her wishes to “spend [her] time productively and purposefully.”
“In settling this case I am also choosing the freedom to dedicate my time to the work that helped me heal after my divorce; work that exists in realms in which I feel seen, heard and believed, and in which I know I can effect change,” Heard said.
“I will not be threatened, disheartened or dissuaded by what happened from speaking the truth,” Heard expressed. “No one can and no one will take that from me.”
Heard ended her statement by thanking her appellate and original trial teams, as well as those who showed her support during her trial.
“Any survivor knows that the ability to tell their story feels like the only relief, and I cannot find enough words to tell you the hope your belief in me inspires, not just for me, but for all of you,” Heard wrote.