Amber Heard Has Agreed To Settle Johnny Depp's Defamation Case
"I make this decision having lost faith in the American legal system, where my unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder," she said.
Amber Heard has agreed to settle the defamation case filed against her by Johnny Depp, she announced Monday.
Heard lost the lawsuit against her ex-husband in June, with a jury finding she had libeled him when she wrote about being a domestic abuse victim in an op-ed, and was ordered to pay $15 million.
"It’s important for me to say that I never chose this. I defended my truth and in doing so my life as I knew it was destroyed," she wrote in a statement on Instagram. "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."
During the six-week trial, during which both actors took the stand, Heard testified about being physically, emotionally, and sexually abused by Depp throughout their relationship. Depp's team defended him by claiming Heard had actually abused Depp.
The trial was livestreamed, and hordes of Depp fans followed the proceedings, picking Heard's testimony apart and spreading conspiracy theories in support of Depp.
Though Heard was ordered to pay $15 million, Virginia's state cap on punitive damages meant she would actually have to pay Depp $10.35 million. Jurors also ordered Depp to pay Heard $2 million for her counterclaim that Depp’s lawyer defamed her in calling her allegations a hoax.
After losing the lawsuit, Heard said she would appeal the decision.
But in her statement Monday, she announced she had decided to settle, calling it a "very difficult decision" that followed "a great deal of deliberation."
"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 too," she wrote. "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."
Depp's attorneys, Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez, said in a statement that they "are pleased to formally close the door on this painful chapter for Mr. Depp, who made clear throughout this process that his priority was about bringing the truth to light." Depp will donate the $1 million payment to charities, they added.
In her statement, Heard said she has "lost faith in the American legal system," where her "unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder."
"When I stood before a judge in the U.K., 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," she wrote.
"In the U.S., however, I exhausted almost all my resources in advance of and during a trial in which I was subjected to a courtroom that 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. "In the interim I was exposed to a type of humiliation that I simply cannot relive. Even if my US appeal is successful, the best outcome would be a retrial where a new jury would have to consider the evidence again. I simply cannot go through that for a third time."