Amber Heard Settles Defamation Case with Johnny Depp

Actress Amber Heard has plans to settle the defamation lawsuit brought against her by ex-husband Johnny Depp, according to a statement posted on Heard’s verified Instagram account Monday. Heard had recently filed an appeal after a Virginia jury mostly sided with Depp in the widely-televised trial earlier this year.

Heard said she has “made no admission” and that the settlement is “not an act of concession.” 

She highlighted her experience with the American legal system as part of her motivation for deciding to settle the case, alleging that “abundant, direct evidence that corroborated [her] testimony was excluded” and that “popularity and power mattered more than reason and due process.”

“I make this decision having lost faith in the American legal system, where my unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder,” Heard wrote.

Heard continued, saying that “even if [her] U.S. appeal is successful, the best outcome would be a re-trial where a new jury would have to consider the evidence again.”

Depp accused Heard of defaming him in a 2018 op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post, in which Heard detailed the abuse she faced by Depp without explicitly naming him. Depp’s defense team claimed that the article was false and had made it difficult for Depp to land movie roles.

In June, the jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million dollars in punitive damages. The jury also awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages and no money for punitive damages for her counterclaim, which alleged defamation over statements Depp’s attorney made about her abuse claims.

“I knew certain things early on without ever having to be told. I knew that men have the power – physically, socially, and financially – and that a lot of institutions support that arrangement,” wrote Heard. “I knew this long before I had the words to articulate it, and I bet you learned it young, too.”

She went on to say that she had been “harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age.” Heard added that she “kept quiet” about these incidents. “I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice,” she wrote. “And I didn’t see myself as a victim.”

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