Amber Heard and Johnny Depp settle defamation lawsuit appeal

Johnny Depp's lawyers Camille Vasquez and Ben Chew arrive to give a statement to the media outside the Fairfax County Courthouse after the jury found Heard liable for defamation. (Photo: AP)

Amber Heard said on Monday that she has decided to settle the defamation suit filed against her by her ex-husband Johnny Depp, bringing to an end an appeal she filed after the trial.

Heard declared in an Instagram post that her decision to settle was "not an act of concession."

"I have made no admission … Regarding my voice going forward, there are no limits or gag orders," she stated.

Earlier this year, a Virginia jury sentenced her to pay Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, the latter of which was reduced to $350,000 due to the actor's defamation lawsuit against her.

The case was predicated on allegations of domestic abuse Heard made against a former partner in an opinion piece for The Washington Post, which Depp contended was a reference to him.

The jury determined that the two celebrities had defamed each other — Heard by publishing the op-ed and Depp by releasing a statement in which his ex-wife was accused of conducting a "hoax."

Heard was granted $2 million in compensatory damages after winning one of three counterclaims against Depp. Currently, he is appealing the ruling.

The actress criticized the American judicial system in her Instagram post, stating that her "unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder."

The actress compared the US legal system to that of the United Kingdom, where Johnny Depp sued The Sun in 2020 for referring to him as a "wife beater" in an article. Heard was the primary witness for The Sun in that lawsuit, which the tabloid won, and "the court found that I was subject to domestic and sexual assault."

However, in her home nation, she stated: "I used practically all of my resources before and throughout a trial in which ample, direct evidence that verified my testimony was omitted and where popularity and power were prioritized above reason and due process.

"In the interval, I was subjected to the humiliation that I cannot bear to experience again."

She stated that she would not be "threatened, disheartened, or dissuaded from stating the truth" despite her settling decision.

"No one can and will take that away from me," she continued. My voice will always be the most precious asset I possess.

In 2009, Heard auditioned to star alongside Depp in The Rum Diary, and after that, they met. They wed in 2015, but their union was brief.

In May 2016, Heard filed for divorce and a temporary restraining order against Depp, claiming his anger, paranoia, and substance addiction difficulties in a declaration.

During the trial, Depp denied ever abusing Heard or any other girlfriend, claiming that Heard had used him.

The jury heard tales of abuse from the performers' families, friends, coworkers, and employers.

The matter was also seriously considered by the court of public opinion.

Ron Schnell, a social media analyst and member of the Berkeley Research Group, testified that he had seen over a million unfavorable tweets about Amber Heard and that the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp hashtag was the trial's most popular trending issue.

Many of Heard's followers viewed the verdict as another instance of a powerful man abusing his authority and getting away with it.

Meanwhile, Depp's supporters viewed the ruling as a triumph for male domestic violence victims.

Publish : 2022-12-20 08:17:00

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