Amber Heard Settles Defamation Case with Johnny Depp

Amber Heard Settles Defamation Case with Johnny Depp

Amber Heard officially settled the defamation case between her and her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, that dates back to 2018.

Amber Heard announced that she agreed to pay $1 million to end the case, writing in an Instagram post, “I simply cannot go through that for a third time.”

The defamation trial started in April and quickly grew contentious, pulling media attention, salacious testimonies and a deluge of social media discourse and internet abuse largely aimed at Heard around a topic as vulnerable intimate partner violence.

Calling out the differences between her U.K. testimony, where the judge ruled against Depp’s libel case, and the U.S. defamation trial, Heard criticized the legal system for allowing her testimony to become “entertainment and social media fodder,” confirming she would not continue pursuing an appeal.

“The vilification I have faced on social media is an amplified version of the way in which women are re-victimized when they come forward,” Heard wrote.

The agreed-upon payment is less than the $8 million in damages the 7-person Virginia jury called for in June. The Fairfax jury found that Heard had defamed Depp in her 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post where she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” and detailed the professional consequences she faced for speaking about her abuse.

The jury had originally awarded more than $10 million in damages to Depp but found that he had also defamed Heard through a comment made by his lawyer, awarding her $2 million.

Both sides appealed their losses, but Heard is bowing out, citing the legal battle’s financial and psychological toll.

“In settling this case I am choosing the freedom to dedicate my time to the work that helped me heal after my divorce,” Heard wrote. “My voice forever remains the most valuable asset I have.”

Heard also wrote to survivors, encouraging them to continue to come forward. “Any survivor knows that the ability to tell their story often feels like the only relief, and I cannot find enough words to tell you the hope your belief in me inspires, not just for me, but for all of you.”

Photo courtesy of Virisa Yong/BFA