36-year-old Amber Heard on Monday, December 19, announced that she has made “a very difficult decision” to settle the defamation case brought against her by ex-husband Johnny Depp, 59, in Virginia.
Recall that a seven-person jury found that she defamed him in her op-ed about domestic violence, and subsequently awarded more than $10 million in damages.
Heard who agreed to settle the case, also claimed in her lengthy social media post that the way she has been vilified on social media is an amplified version of the ways women are re-victimised when they come forward.
Her statement partly read;
“It’s important for me to say that I never chose this. I defended my truth in doing so my life as I knew it was destroyed. The vilification I have faced on social media is an amplified version of the ways women are re-victimised when they come forward.”
“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,” she continued. “I have made no admission. This is not an act of concession. There are no restrictions or gags with respect to my voice moving forward.”
The actress also compared the way her testimony in Depp’s U.K. libel case against The Sun in November 2020 was received to the way her more recent testimony in the U.S. was, writing “popularity and power mattered more than reason and due process.”
Heard said she has lost faith in the American legal system, having been found liable for defaming Johnny, whereas in the UK the verdict came in her favor.
“When I stood before a judge in the UK, I was vindicated by a robust, impartial and fair system, where I was protected from having to give the worst moments of my testimony in front of the world’s media, and where the court found that I was subjected to domestic and sexual violence,” Heard wrote on Instagram Monday.
“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.
“In the interim I was exposed to a type of humiliation that I simply cannot re-live.
“I simply cannot go through that for a third time. U.S. legal process has shown itself unable to protect me and my right to free speech.
“I cannot afford to risk an impossible bill – one that is not just financial, but also psychological, physical and emotional.
“Women shouldn’t have to face abuse or bankruptcy for speaking her truth, but unfortunately it is not uncommon.
“I’m choosing the freedom to dedicate my time to the work that helped me heal after my divorce.
“I will not be threatened, disheartened or dissuaded by what happened from speaking the truth.
“No one can and no one will take that from me. My voice forever remains the most valuable asset I have.”
Commenting on the settlement reached, a source close to Depp told People;
“It’s a seven-figure settlement. The judgment is in place. But part of the point of appealing it for her was both the financial reasons but also to ensure there wasn’t a judgment in place against her — that has significant ramifications. This judgment is never going away. Depp has said it wasn’t about money. He just wanted the truth.”