Amber Heard Settles Defamation Battle With Johnny Depp

Amber Heard. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/AFP via Getty Images

Amber Heard is no longer planning to relitigate the defamation case that gripped the country (and TikTok) earlier this year. The actress and Johnny Depp have agreed to settle their latest legal battle, according to a statement Heard posted on Instagram December 19. “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,” Heard wrote. “It’s important for me to say that I never chose this. I defended my truth and in doing so my life was destroyed … 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 maintained her position and emphasized that she did not agree to silence in the settlement. “This is not an act of concession,” she continued. “There are no restrictions or gags with respect to my voice going forward.”

The Pirates of the Caribbean star originally sued Heard in 2019 after she published a Washington Post op-ed about domestic abuse that did not name Depp in the article. Earlier this year, after a Virginia court ordered the Aquaman actress to pay $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages (the latter amount was later reduced to $350,000) for defaming Depp, Heard appealed the court’s decision, claiming that evidence suppressed during the trial and the ensuing social- media circus had unfairly influenced jurors. “I make this decision having lost faith in the American legal system, where my unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social-media fodder,” Heard stated in her post, doubling down on the internet’s influence on the trial before comparing the case to her trial against Depp in the U.K., where a court found her claims of domestic and sexual violence credible. “In the US, however, I exhausted almost all my resources in advance of and during a trial in which I was subjected 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.”

“I was exposed to a type of humiliation that I simply cannot re-live,” Heard shared. “I simply cannot go through that for a third time.”

Amber Heard Settles Defamation Battle With Johnny Depp