Amber Heard has settled her defamation lawsuit against ex-husband Johnny Depp, she announced in an Instagram post on Monday. Heard, 36, called the decision to settle down with Depp, 59, a “very difficult one” that came after “a lot of discussions.” “It’s important to me to say that I never chose this. I stood up for my truth and I know that my life was ruined by doing so.
The abuse I faced on social media was an extended version of the ways women came back . . . when they came forward they were victimized,” Heard said. In her statement, Hurd framed the settlement as a last-ditch effort, saying it was “an opportunity to break free from what I tried to leave six years ago and on terms I could agree to.” “I have not made any concessions.
This is not a concessionary move. There are no restrictions or gags for my voice to go forward,” she added. In a statement provided to NBC News, Depp’s attorneys said they are paying their client $1 million as part of the settlement. The attorneys are “pleased to officially close the door on this painful chapter for Mr. Depp, making clear his intention to bring the truth to light in the process.”
“It’s never about the money,” the statement continued. “The jury’s unanimous decision and verdict in his favor against Ms. Heard stand in full force, and the $1M payout reinforces the legal system’s commitment to the rigorous pursuit of justice.” Contrary to what she wrote in her statement, a source close to Depp said the ruling against Heard could be used against her if she makes false or defamatory allegations in the future.
The source added that Depp has pledged to pay several charities from Heard to be named at a later date. NBC News has reached out to Heard’s legal team and representatives for comment. The settlement comes months after a televised trial in which jurors found that Heard defamed Depp by writing a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post in which she became a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
The article never mentioned Depp by name, only indirectly referring to the allegations his lawyers made against him during their 2016 divorce. During the trial, she testified in graphic terms about the alleged sexual abuse, as well as incidents of physical abuse. Depp has denied all allegations of abuse. Social media posts appeared in Depp’s favor during the trial.
Hard of Hearing finds support as outrageous memes and viral content denigrate her online. Some online creators say those dynamics in the online response to the trial are toxic for survivors of domestic abuse. Last month, major national feminist organizations came to Heard’s defense, issuing a letter — first reported by NBC News — alleging that the accusations and harassment against Heard and her supporters were “unprecedented in both vitriol and scale,” marking one of the largest public shows yet. And yet.
Support for hearers after judgment. The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages; Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages but nothing in punitive damages. An appeal of that ruling resulted in a settlement. In her statement, Heard drew a contrast between how court battles were played out in the U.K. and the U.S., writing that she had “lost faith in the American legal system, where my unguarded testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder.”
In the U.K., she was “vindicated by a strong, impartial and fair system, where I was protected from giving the worst moments of my testimony in front of the world’s media, and where the court recognized me as a victim of domestic and sexual violence.” But in the U.S., “I have almost completely exhausted my resources before and during the trial in court, excluding abundant, direct evidence corroborating my testimony and