Amber Heard settles defamation case against Johnny Depp
Actress Amber Heard said she has settled the defamation case brought by her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.
Heard made the announcement in an Instagram post on Monday, which comes about six months after a Virginia jury found she acted with actual malice in issuing false statements about Depp abusing her during their relationship.
Heard was ordered to pay Depp $10.35 million in damages, and Depp was also ordered to pay Heard $2 million for a false statement by Depp’s lawyer claiming Heard roughed up the couple’s apartment to look worse for police.
“It’s important for me to say that I never chose this,” Heard said on Monday. “I defended my truth and 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 in which women are re-victimised when they come forward.”
Following the ruling, Heard’s then-attorney said on NBC’s “Today” that the actress could “absolutely not” afford to pay the judgment.
Both Heard and Depp had appealed the judgments against them.
Heard’s statement did not disclose the amount of the settlement, but Depp’s attorneys, Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez, indicated Heard will pay $1 million.
“We 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,” Chew and Vasquez said in a statement. “The jury’s unanimous decision and the resulting judgement in Mr. Depp’s favor against Ms. Heard remain fully in place. The payment of $1M – which Mr. Depp is pledging and will (actually) donate to charities – reinforces Ms. Heard’s acknowledgement of the conclusion of the legal system’s rigorous pursuit for justice.”
During the trial, Depp’s attorneys had questioned whether Heard had followed through on a charity pledge she previously made.
“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,” Heard said in her statement. “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.”
The former couple’s claims against each other gained widespread attention during the televised trial this summer.
Depp accused Heard of libel for a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote about sexual violence, though she didn’t mention the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star by name in the piece.
But the jury sided with Depp on those claims, also handing Heard a partial victory on one of her counterclaims.
Heard was awarded $2 million for a statement by Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, claiming Heard set up “a hoax” to frame Depp by calling 911 at the direction of a publicist.
Updated: 2:40 p.m.
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