Amber Heard and Johnny Depp© Getty Images

Amber Heard Settles Defamation Case Against Johnny Depp

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

The long-winded and ugly defamation trial between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp has officially been settled by the actress. Heard recently took to Instagram to announce that she would be paying $1 million to settle the case, writing that she “simply cannot go through that for a third time”.

ICYMI, Heard and Depp had been embroiled in a very public trial that began earlier this year and had become a spectacle that resulted in vicious trolling aimed at the actress. Depp had sued her for allegedly defaming him in a 2018 op-ed she had written for Washington Post where she had described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” and detailed the personal consequences she had faced for speaking about what she had gone through.

The Virginia jury ruled in favour of Depp and awarded more than $10 million in damages to Depp and also ordered him to pay $2 million to Heard for defamatory comments against her by his lawyer. The jury’s decision came as no surprise, especially since the trial had become problematically public and the general sentiment leaned towards painting Depp as the poor victim in the case and Heard as the evil, money-grabbing, fame-hungry monster.

In her Instagram post, Heard criticised the US legal system for allowing the trial to become “entertainment and social media fodder”, writing that, “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.”

The Aquaman actress shared that she is bowing out because of the financial and psychological toll of the lengthy legal battle.

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

Heard also addressed survivors and encouraged them 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.”

Depp’s lawyers said in a statement that they are happy “to formally close the door on this painful chapter for Mr. Depp” and revealed that he would be donating the settlement money to different charities.