Arts & Entertainment

Amber Heard reaches settlement in defamation trial vs. Johnny Depp

Washington, Dec 19 (EFE).- US actress Amber Heard announced Monday that she arrived at a settlement in her defamation case against former husband Johnny Depp, in which she had filed an appeal after a Virginia court ruled that the actors had defamed one another but in which she was ordered to pay Depp $10 million, while he was required to pay her $2 million.

Heard appealed the decision, hiring a new legal team, but she has now agreed to withdraw her appeal.

“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,” said the actress on Instagram.

Heard was married to Depp from 2015 to 2017 and gave no further details about the resolution of the case.

Depp, the star of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” accused Heard of defaming him in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018.

The jury found Heard guilty and ordered her to pay Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, although that latter amount was later reduced to $350,000. The court also ordered Depp to pay Heard $2 million in compensation, since she had filed a countersuit against him, also for defamation.

The trial, in which both actors accused one another of physically abusing them, became a media circus.

Heard appealed the ruling on Dec. 7 with her defense team claiming that there had been numerous mistakes committed during the trial, including claiming that the court had refused to admit as evidence several communications between her and certain physicians.

“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,” Heard said on Monday on Instagram.

“Women shouldn’t have to face abuse or bankruptcy for speaking her truth, but unfortunately it is not uncommon,” she added.

In her message, she made clear that she has always “defended my truth and 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 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,” said the star of films such as “Justice League” (2017) and “Aquaman” (2018).

Heard admitted that even if her appeal in the US had ended in her favor, it would have forced her to go through a new trial, something that she did not feel capable of doing for a third time.

“In settling this case I’m also choosing the freedom to dedicate my time to the work that helped me heal after my divorce,” she said, adding that she does not regret taking the step of publicly denouncing what happened to her.

“My voice forever remains the most valuable asset I have,” she said.

EFE mgr/er/bp

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