Amber Heard and Johnny Depp settle defamation appeal

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have settled their dueling defamation cases more than six months after a Virginia jury ruled in favor of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ actor in the exes’ tumultuous trial.

In a lengthy statement shared to Instagram on Monday, Heard explained her decision not to pursue the appeal she filed shortly after the jury awarded her $2 million and Depp more than $10 million in June. The Daily Mail reported that Depp and Heard have reached an agreement in which Heard’s insurance company will pay Depp $1 million – an amount Depp’s team confirmed in a statement on Monday.

“After much deliberation, I have made a very difficult decision to settle the defamation case brought against me by my ex-husband in Virginia,” Heard announced Monday. “It’s important for me to say that I never made that choice. I defended my truth and in doing so my life as I knew it was destroyed.

“The slur I’ve faced on social media is an amplified version of how women fall victim again when they come forward. Now I finally have the opportunity to emancipate myself from something I tried to leave over six years ago, on terms I can agree to. I made no admission. This is not an act of concession. There are no restrictions or gags regarding my voice moving forward.”

In a statement to The Times, Depp attorneys Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez said they were “delighted to officially close the door on this painful chapter for Mr Depp, who has made it clear throughout the trial that it was his priority.” , to bring the truth to light .”

“The jury’s unanimous decision and resulting verdict in favor of Mr. Depp v. Ms. Heard stands in its entirety,” the statement continued. “The $1 million payment – which Mr Depp pledges and will (actually) donate to charities – is Ms Heard’s recognition of the completion of the legal system’s rigorous pursuit of justice.”

During their high-profile libel trial, which was streamed live for free on CourtTV and elsewhere, the ex-husband and ex-wife exchanged disturbing allegations of domestic violence. Both actors received a mix of criticism and support on social media; However, Heard has faced significantly more online harassment than Depp.

“I am making this decision after losing faith in the American legal system, where my unprotected testimony has served as entertainment and social media fodder,” Heard continued in Monday’s statement.

“I exhausted almost all my resources before and during a trial, in which I was exposed to a courtroom where copious direct evidence supporting my testimony was excluded, and where popularity and power counted for more than common sense and due process.

“In the meantime, I’ve been subjected to a kind of humiliation that I just can’t live through anymore. Even if my US appeal is successful, the best outcome would be a retrial, which would require a new jury to reexamine the evidence. I just can’t go through that a third time.”

In July, a Virginia judge dismissed Heard’s mistrial lawsuit before the Justice League actress appealed, accusing the court of “making mistakes that prevented a just and fair trial.” Depp also appealed Virginia’s verdict to challenge the $2 million Heard was awarded.

On Monday, Heard pointed out that Depp lost his 2020 defamation case in London after a judiciary ruled that “the vast majority” of assault allegations made against him by Heard had been “proven civilly”.

“Time is precious and I want to spend it productively and meaningfully,” Heard said in her statement. “For too many years I have been locked in an arduous and expensive legal process that has proven incapable of protecting me and my right to free speech. I can’t afford to risk an impossible calculation – one that’s not just financial, but psychological, physical and emotional.

“Women shouldn’t face abuse or bankruptcy for speaking their truth, but unfortunately that’s not uncommon. In settling this case, I also choose the freedom to devote my time to the work that helped me heal from my divorce; Work that exists in areas where I feel seen, heard, believed, and know I can make a difference. I will not be threatened, discouraged, or dissuaded from telling the truth by what happened. Nobody can or wants to take that away from me. My voice will always be the most valuable asset I have.”

Heard concluded by thanking her legal team and supporters.

“I turn my attention to the growing support I have felt and seen publicly in the months since the trial and the efforts that have been made to show solidarity with my story,” she said.

“Any survivor knows that being able to tell their story often feels like their only relief, and I cannot find enough words to tell you the hope your belief in me inspires, not only for me but for you.” for all of you.”

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2022-12-19/amber-heard-johnny-depp-settle-defamation-case-appeal-trial Amber Heard and Johnny Depp settle defamation appeal

Sarah Ridley

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