The lengthy and extremely public legal battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has ended, with Heard announcing on her Instagram account that she had “made a very difficult decision to settle the defamation case brought against me by my ex-husband in Virginia.”
Depp originally sued Heard for $50 million, claiming that an op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse” sullied his reputation and cost him millions of dollars. Heard later countersued Depp for $100 million, saying her reputation was ruined when his side described her accusations as a “hoax.”
The seven jurors in the case ultimately found defamation on both sides of the case. They decided that Heard had defamed Depp on all three counts that were being considered in the case, and awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. But they also found that Heard’s side had proven one of her counts of defamation, specifically the one where an attorney for Depp called her accusations a hoax, and awarded her $2 million in damages.
Both sides ultimately appealed the verdict and the case continued until now with this new settlement. Rather than the $8.35 million Heard would have had to pay, she will instead pay Depp $1 million dollars. A statement from Depp’s attorneys claims he intends to donate this money to “charities.”
Heard’s lengthy statement also notes…
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. The vilification I have faced on social media is an amplified version of the ways in which women are re-victimized 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. 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. I make this decision having lost faith in the American legal system, where my unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder.
Depp’s attorneys’ statement reads:
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 … 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 donate to charities — reinforces Ms. Heard’s acknowledgement of the conclusion of the legal system’s rigorous pursuit for justice.
Heard’s full Instagram post is below.
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