Amber Heard speaks out after settling Johnny Depp defamation case

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have settled their defamation case (Pictures: Getty / AFP)

Amber Heard has spoken out after settling her defamation case against her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor, 59, successfully sued his former partner for defamation earlier this year, following a 2018 op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post.

In the piece, the 36-year-old spoke of her experience with domestic violence but did not mention her ex by name – however, his legal team argued that this implied that he was physically abusive during the course of their relationship.

Following a tumultuous six-week trial, which was live-streamed, the jury eventually found in Depp’s favor and awarded him $8million, while Heard was given $2million in damages after winning one count of her countersuit.

The pair both filed an appeal against the verdict, but have now managed to settle their case – with the mom-of-one reportedly paying the Willy Wonka actor $1million.

Taking to Instagram, she issued a lengthy statement, explaining her reason for putting an end to their legal battles.

‘After a great deal of deliberation I have made a very difficult decision to settle the defamation case brought against me by my ex-husband in Virginia,’ she began. ‘It’s important for me to say that I never chose this. I defended my truth and in doing do my life as I knew it was destroyed.

‘The vilification I have faced on social media is an amplified version of the ways in which women are re-victimized 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.

‘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.’

‘I make this decision having lost faith in the American legal system, where my unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder,’ she continued, reflecting on the recent case and the previous UK court battles.

Amber Heard Johnny Depp court case

Heard spoke out over the decision on Instagram (Picture: Reuters)

‘Where I stood before 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.

‘In the US, however, I exhausted almost all of 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. Even if my US appeal is successful, the best outcome would be a re-trial where a new jury would have to consider the evidence again. I simply cannot go through that for a third time.’

‘Time is precious and I want to spend my time productively and purposefully,’ she said. ‘For too many years I have been caged in an arduous and expensive legal process, which 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.

The jury found in favor of Depp (Picture: AFP)

‘Women shouldn’t have to face abuse or bankruptcy for speaking her truth, but unfortunately it is not uncommon. In settling this case I am also choosing the freedom to dictate my time to the work that helped me heal after my divorce; work that exists in realms in which I feel seen, heard and believed, and in which I know I can effect change.

‘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.’

Heard concluded: ‘I’d like to thank my outstanding appellate and original trial teams for their relentless hard work. I want to thank everyone who has supported me and I turn my attention to the growing support that I’ve felt and seen publicly in the months since trial, and the efforts that have been made to show solidarity with my story.

‘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. Thank you. See you soon.’

Depp has yet to speak out over the news.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow soon… Check back shortly for further updates.

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