Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have settled their Virginia defamation lawsuit.
Heard, 36, announced Monday on Instagram that the “difficult decision” was made “after much deliberation.”
“It is critical for me to state that I did not choose this. I defended my truth, and in doing so, I destroyed my life as I knew it. The vilification I’ve received on social media is an exaggerated version of how women are re-victimized when they come forward “She penned a letter.
Heard went on to say that their agreement was reached “on terms I can agree to.”
“I have not admitted anything. This is not a sign of weakness. Moving forward, there are no restrictions or gags on my voice “said the actress.
According to Depp’s attorneys, Heard will pay $1 million, which he will “donate to charities.”
“We are pleased to formally close this painful chapter for Mr. Depp, who made it clear throughout this process that his priority was to bring the truth to light,” Depp’s attorneys Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez said in a statement to USA TODAY.
“The jury’s unanimous decision and the resulting verdict in favour of Mr. Depp against Ms. Heard remain fully in effect. The $1 million payment, which Mr. Depp is pledging and will actually donate to charities, reinforces Ms. Heard’s recognition of the end of the legal system’s rigorous pursuit of justice “According to the statement.
Heard stated that she settled because she had “lost faith in the American legal system.” In the United Kingdom, Depp lost his libel case against British tabloid The Sun in 2020. He filed the suit in response to an April 2018 article that referred to him as a “wife-beater.” Heard was the primary witness for News Group Newspapers, the publisher of The Sun.
In an Instagram post referencing the trial, the “Aquaman” star stated that she 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 violence.” In the United States, however, Heard stated that “popularity and power were more important than reason and due process.”
What was the outcome of the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard?
In the United States, Depp filed a defamation suit against his ex-wife Heard in 2019, accusing her of defaming him in a 2018 op-ed for the Washington Post and seeking $50 million. She countersued for $100 million, claiming defamation over comments made by Depp’s former lawyer Adam Waldman, who called her abuse allegations a hoax.
The televised trial began on April 11 and lasted six weeks, with both parties and their witnesses testifying about alleged abuse during the couple’s 15-month marriage, which began in 2015.
On June 1, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star was awarded more than $10 million in damages by a Virginia jury, proving that Heard fabricated claims that Depp abused her before and during their brief marriage.
Heard’s countersuit was also partially successful, with the jury awarding her $2 million in damages.
Heard requested that the verdict be overturned or that a new trial be held.
Heard’s announcement of a settlement comes just weeks after she appealed trial Judge Penney Azcarate’s July 13 rejection of her post-trial request for the verdict to be overturned and a new trial ordered.
According to Heard’s opening brief, obtained by USA TODAY on December 5, the decision “undoubtedly will have a chilling effect on other women who wish to speak about abuse involving powerful men.”
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On December 19, Heard responded to the petition on Instagram, writing, “Even if my US appeal is successful, the best outcome would be a retrial with a new jury deliberating on the evidence. I simply cannot go through that again for the third time.”
“I cannot afford to take the risk of incurring an impossible bill, one that is not only financial but also psychological, physical, and emotional. Women should not have to face abuse or bankruptcy for speaking their truth, but this is all too common “she continued
Heard was required to post a bond of $10.3 million plus 6% interest while her appeal was pending, according to Virginia court rules.
Heard concluded her post by expressing gratitude to her “outstanding appellate and original trial teams for their relentless hard work,” as well as those who have expressed solidarity.