Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have settled their defamation lawsuits following a high-profile trial earlier this year in which the former couple accused each other of physical and verbal abuse. Heard announced the settlement Monday on social media.Both sides had filed appeals of various aspects of the jury’s verdicts in June.
The seven-person civil jury had awarded Depp $10 million in damages, but also awarded $2 million to Heard. Depp’s camp said the deal includes a $1 million payment from her to him to settle all financial claims.
In a statement, Depp’s attorneys said that he would donate the money to charity. His attorneys have previously said that the case was “never about the money” for Depp. In her own statement, Heard said she had “lost faith in the American legal system.
” She also said that the settlement spares her the ordeal of further litigation and allows her to finally “emancipate” herself from their marriage.“After a great deal of deliberation I have made a very difficult decision to settle the defamation case brought against me by my ex-husband in Virginia.
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.
When I took 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 worlds media, and where the court found that I was subjected to domestic and sexual violence.
In the U.S., however, I exhausted almost all my resources in advance of and during a trial in which I was subject to a courtroom in which abundant, direct evidence that corroborated my testimony was excluded and in which popularity and power mattered more than reason and due process. In the interim I was exposed to a type of humiliation that I simply cannot re-live. Even if my U.S. appeal is successful, the best outcome would be a re-trial where a new jury would have to consider the evidence age. I simply cannot go through that for a third time.
Time is precious, and I want to spend my time productively and purposefully. For too many years I have been caged in an arduous and expensive legal process, which has shown itself unable to protect me and my right to free speech. I cannot afford to risk an impossible bill – one that is not just financial but also psychological, physical and emotional.
Women shouldn’t have to face abuse or bankruptcy for speaking her truth, but unfortunately it is not uncommon.In settling this case I’m also choosing the freedom to dedicate my time to the work that helped me heal after my divorce; work that exists in realms in which I feel seen, heard and believed and in which I know I can effect change.
I will not be threatened, disheartened, or dissuaded by what happened from speaking the truth. No one can and no one will take that from me. My voice forever remains the most valuable asset I have.I’d like to thank my outstanding appellate and original trial teams for their relentless hard work.
I want to thank everyone who has supported me and I turn my attention to the growing support that I felt and seen publicly in the months since trial, and the efforts have been made to show solidarity with my story. Any survivor knows that the ability to tell their story often feels like the only relief. I cannot find enough words to tell you the hope your belief in me inspires. Not just for me, but for all of you.
Thank you. See you soon.”
The trial stretched over several months and became something of a cultural phenomenon as millions of Americans watched the televised proceedings.Ostensibly a defamation case, the trial frequently devolved into ugly mudslinging as both Depp and Heard took the stand over multiple days denying each other’s abuse allegations and accusing each other of horrible behavior during their brief marriage.
At the courthouse and across the country, Depp’s supporters backed him fervently, and Heard was routinely mocked as she detailed allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.The ruling at the Virginia court in Depp’s favor came after a judge in the United Kingdom ruled against Depp in a libel suit he brought there against a British tabloid. The judge in that 2020 case concluded that Heard had indeed been subject to abuse at Depp’s hands on multiple occasions.