Amber Heard Defamation Case: On Monday, Amber Heard revealed on Instagram that her defamation lawsuit against her ex-husband Johnny Depp had been resolved.
Heard, 36, said it was “challenging” to settle with Depp, 59, and that it came after “a great deal of contemplation.”
I must emphasize that I never selected this. My life as I knew it was ruined because I stood up for the truth. When women come out, they are re-victimized in ways compounded by the online criticism, Heard wrote.
As a final resort, Heard described the settlement as “an opportunity to emancipate me 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 concerning my voice moving forward,” she added.
According to a statement from Depp’s legal team, heard is making a $1 million payment to Depp as part of the settlement.
The lawyers continued, “We’re happy to formally close the door on this problematic chapter for Mr. Depp, who made clear his intent to bring the truth to light throughout this process.
“This was never about the money,” the statement continued. “The jury’s unanimous decision and the judgment in his favor against Ms. Heard remain fully in place, and the payment of $1M reinforces her acknowledgment of the legal system’s rigorous pursuit for justice.”
Contrary to what she claimed in her statement, a source close to Depp stated the judgment against Heard can still be used against her if she ever makes another false or defamatory claim.
The source also said that Depp would donate the money received from Heard to many later-to-be-named charities. NBC News has contacted heard’s legal counsel and representatives for comment.
Settlement Follows A Contentious, Weekslong Trial
When Heard claimed in a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post that she had become a “public figure symbolizing domestic abuse,” a jury found that she had defamed actor Johnny Depp.
Heard reached a settlement months after the jury’s decision, which followed a week-long, live trial. Even though Depp was never explicitly referenced in the article, according to his lawyers, it referred to accusations she leveled against him during their 2016 divorce.
She testified graphically during the trial about a sexual assault she claimed to have had and claims of instances of physical abuse. Depp refuted all allegations of abuse.
During the trial, social media posts largely seemed to support Depp. With so many internet memes and viral videos demeaning Heard, finding support for her was more difficult. According to several online artists, the dynamics in the internet discussion of the trial were poisonous for victims of domestic abuse.
One of the most extensive public displays of support for Heard after the verdict occurred last month when major national feminist organizations defended her, claiming in a letter that was first made public by NBC News that the criticism and harassment of Heard and her supporters were “unprecedented in both vitriol and scale.”
Heard received $2 million in compensatory damages but no punitive damages, while the jury gave Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
The settlement resulted from Heard’s appeal of the judgment.
The jury’s verdict served as a legal victory for Depp, who had previously lost a libel action in the UK over allegations that he had physically mistreated Heard. Justice Andrew Nicol rejected Depp’s appeal in 2020, finding that a British tabloid had provided compelling evidence that Depp had assaulted Heard in at least 12 of the 14 instances in question.
‘lost Faith In The American Legal System.’
Heard wrote in her statement that she has “lost faith in the American justice system, where my unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder,” drawing a comparison between how the legal disputes were handled in the U.K. and the U.S.
Heard said that the British legal system “victoriously” upheld her in that country, where she “was shielded from having to deliver the worst moments of my testimony in front of the world’s media, and the court found that I was subjected to domestic and sexual assault.”
However, she claimed that in the United States, “I almost completely exhausted all of 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 experienced a form of humiliation that I just can’t go through again.”
Heard claimed that winning the case would enable her to use her time “purposefully and effectively.”
“I have been imprisoned in an expensive and time-consuming judicial procedure for far too long, and it has repeatedly failed to defend my interests or freedom of speech. I cannot afford to take the chance of incurring an impossible debt—one that is not only psychological but also physical, emotional, and financial. “Women shouldn’t have to deal with harassment or financial ruin for expressing their truth, but regrettably, it happens frequently.”
As she concluded her statement, heard expressed gratitude to her supporters and her attorneys for their efforts on the case. She also swore she “would not be threatened, saddened, or dissuaded by what transpired from telling the truth.”
“No one can, and no one will take that from me,” she wrote. “My voice forever remains the most valuable asset I have.” Keep yourself updated with all the latest news from our website Newswatchlist.com and get all the recent updates.