Lawyers for Johnny Depp say that Amber Heard plans to settle Johnny Depp’s appeal against her instead of going to court, and she will also withdraw the appeal she filed earlier this month.
The actor wrote a long statement about this “very difficult decision” and posted it to her Instagram account on Monday morning. In the past, a jury in Virginia found Heard guilty of defaming Depp in her Washington Post article about domestic violence and gave the Pirates of the Caribbean actor $10.35 million in damages. But they decided that Heard was also slandered and gave her $2 million in compensation. At the beginning of November, Depp filed an appeal. He said that the jury had wrongly sided with his ex-wife by saying that one of his lawyers, Adam Waldman, slandered her when he told the Daily Mail that Heard’s abuse claims were a “hoax.” In the filing, Depp said that his attorney’s comments shouldn’t be held against him legally.
In her statement, Heard said, “Even though I’ve decided to settle this appeal, this is not a concession.” In the future, my voice won’t be muzzled or limited in any way.”
This painful chapter for Mr. Depp
Depp’s lawyers said they are “pleased to formally close the door on this painful chapter for Mr. Depp, who made it clear throughout this process that he wanted to bring the truth to light.”
Heard also pointed out that she’s used up almost all of her resources trying to fight this case. “It’s important for me to say that I never wanted this,” she wrote. “I stood up for what I believed, and in doing so, my life as I knew it was destroyed.
The Aquaman actor said, “Time is precious, and I want to use it wisely and well. Too many years have gone by since I’ve been locked up in a long, expensive, and hard legal process that hasn’t been able to protect me or my right to free speech. I can’t afford to take a chance on a bill that I can’t pay, especially if it’s not just a financial problem but also a mental, physical, and emotional one.
Women shouldn’t have to deal with abuse or financial ruin for telling the truth, but this happens a lot. Heard ended by saying, “I won’t let what happened scare, discourage, or stop me from telling the truth.” No one can take that away from me, and they won’t be able to. My voice will always be my most valuable asset.”
Depp sued Heard for $50 million over a 2018 opinion piece she wrote for The Washington Post. Even though the actress never named her ex-husband, she wrote about being the victim of physical and sexual violence. A jury agreed that it’s reasonable to think the person was Depp. The ruling meant that a jury did not think Heard was abused emotionally or physically even once, even after the star gave an emotional testimony on the stand.
In her statement, Heard said, “I lost faith in the American legal system, where my unprotected testimony was used for entertainment and social media fodder.”
Even though Depp won all three of his claims of defamation, Heard won one of her counterclaims and was awarded $2 million. But the verdict was seen as a resounding win for the actor and directly went against a 2020 ruling in the U.K. When Depp sued a tabloid for calling him a “wife beater,” a judge said it was “substantially true” that the actor had hurt Heard 12 times.
“When I went before a judge in the U.K., I was vindicated by a strong, impartial, and fair system. I was protected from having to give the worst parts of my testimony in front of the world’s media, and the court found that I was subjected to domestic and sexual violence,” she said in Monday’s statement.
“In the U.S., I spent virtually all my finances before and during a trial where direct evidence supporting my testimony was thrown out and popularity and power mattered more than reason and due process. I suffered a humiliation I can’t relive. Even if my U.S. appeal is successful, a fresh trial with a new jury would be better. I can’t do it again.”