Amber Heard Announces 'Very Difficult' Decision to Settle Johnny Depp Defamation Case

In an extended statement shared on Monday, Amber Heard detailed what she said was a "very difficult decision" while looking ahead to what's next.

Amber and Johnny are pictured in an archival red carpet photo

Image via Getty/Jason Merritt/Art of Elysium

Amber and Johnny are pictured in an archival red carpet photo

Amber Heard has announced a settlement in connection with the defamation case brought against her by Johnny Depp in Virginia.

In an extended statement shared to Instagram on Monday, Heard—who was previously reported to be appealing the verdict in the case—said that she had come to this decision after “a great deal of deliberation.” She also pointed to what she described as her “vilification” on social media surrounding coverage of the case, noting that the settlement does not equate to her offering any admission.

“I make this decision having lost faith in the American legal system, where my unprotected testimony served as entreatment and social media fodder,” Heard said. ‘When I stood before a 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.”

Comparing that case to proceedings in the U.S., Heard continued, “In the US, however, I exhausted almost all 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.”

Heard added that even if her push for an appeal proved to be a success, she “simply cannot go through that” again.

“In settling this case I am also choosing the freedom to dedicate 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 affect change,” Heard said.

See Heard’s full statement below. Complex has reached out to a rep for Heard for additional comment. This story may be updated.

In a statement shared with Complex on Monday, Depp’s attorneys said they were “pleased to formally close the door” on this case.

“We are pleased to formally close the door on this painful chapter for Mr. Depp, who made clear throughout this process that his priority was about bringing the truth to light,” Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez, Depp’s attorneys, said. “The jury’s unanimous decision and the resulting judgement in Mr. Depp’s favor against Ms. Heard remain fully in place. The payment of $1M —which Mr. Depp is pledging and will donate to charities—reinforces Ms. Heard’s acknowledgement of the conclusion of the legal system’s rigorous pursuit for justice.”

In June, per an Associated Press report at the time, the judge in the Heard and Depp defamation trial made the jury’s initial award of more than $10 million official. At the center of the case was a 2018 Washington Postop-ed from Heard, while Depp was also ordered at the time to pay $2 million in connection with remarks made by a lawyer representing the actor.

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