Amber Heard Announces ‘Very Difficult Decision’ to Settle Johnny Depp Defamation Case

Amber Heard Announces ‘Very Difficult Decision’ to Settle Johnny Depp Defamation Case – On Monday morning, Heard, 36, issued a statement shared to Instagram that she has made “a very difficult decision” to settle the defamation case brought against her by ex-husband Johnny Depp, 59, in Virginia, at which a seven-person jury found that Heard defamed Depp in her op-ed about domestic violence and he was awarded more than $10 million in damages.

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“It’s important for me to say that I never chose this,” Heard wrote in her statement. “I defended my truth in doing so, my life as I knew it was destroyed. The vilification I have faced on social media is an amplified version of the ways women are re-victimised when they come forward.” “Now I finally have an opportunity to emancipate myself from something I attempted to leave over six years ago and on terms I can agree to,” she continued. “I have made no admission. This is not an act of concession. There are no restrictions or gags with respect to my voice moving forward.”

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A source close to Depp said, “It’s a seven-figure settlement. The judgment is in place. But part of the point of appealing it for her was both the financial reasons but also to ensure there wasn’t a judgment in place against her — that has significant ramifications. This judgment is never going away. Depp has said it wasn’t about money. He just wanted the truth.” In Heard’s statement, the actress compared the way her testimony in Depp’s U.K. libel case against The Sun in November 2020 was received to the way her more recent testimony in the U.S. was, writing “popularity and power mattered more than reason and due process.”

“When I stood before a judge in the UK, I was vindicated by a robust, impartial and fair system, where I was protected from having to give the worst moments of my testimony in front of the world’s media, and where the court found that I was subjected to domestic and sexual violence,” Heard wrote on Instagram Monday. “In the US, however, I exhausted almost all my resources in advance of and during a trial in which I was subjected to a courtroom in which abundant, direct evidence that corroborated my testimony was excluded and in which popularity and power mattered more than reason and due process,” she continued.

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“In the interim I was exposed to a type of humiliation that I simply cannot re-live,” Heard added in her statement, as she noted that a successful appeal in the case would only lead to another public trial. “I simply cannot go through that for a third time,” Heard wrote, going on to say that the U.S. legal process “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,” the actress added. “Women shouldn’t have to face abuse or bankruptcy for speaking her truth, but unfortunately it is not uncommon.”

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Heard also stated Monday that she is “choosing the freedom to dedicate my time to the work that helped me heal after my divorce.” “I will not be threatened, disheartened or dissuaded by what happened from speaking the truth,” she wrote. “No one can and no one will take that from me. My voice forever remains the most valuable asset I have.” Heard had previously appealed the defamation verdict in November, demanding a reversal or new trial and saying the outcome has a “chilling effect” on women speaking out. 

In a Nov. 23 Virginia Court of Appeals filing obtained, the actress and her new lawyers questioned the June 1 verdict as well as why the trial was allowed to take place in Virginia instead of California. The appeal also argued the trial shouldn’t have moved forward since Depp lost his U.K. libel case against The Sun over the British tabloid calling him a “wife-beater” — a claim that a London court upheld as being “substantially true” after Heard testified to back up the outlet’s words.

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