Amber Heard has broken her silence in a lengthy essay after being ordered to pay $1million to her ex Johnny Depp to settle their defamation cases
Amber Heard has handed over $1million to her ex-husband Johnny Depp as they finally settle defamation claims.
The actress, 36, said it had been a “very difficult decision” to settle the multi-million dollar case as she spoke out in a lengthy statement on Monday.
The long-running legal battle has been one of the most bitter cases ever seen in Hollywood and has culminated in the couple’s lawyers hashing out a deal which will see Heard’s insurance company pay Depp $1million to put an end to the case.
But the agreement will impose no restrictions on Heard about what she can talk about in regards to the case and she has accepted no guilt, according to Mail Online reports.
The case has been played out in courtrooms on both sides of the Atlantic in a six year onslaught during which Heard alleged she was a victim of domestic violence and although did not directly name her ex-husband cited abuse in a Washington Post op-ed piece.
The legal case in London was found in Heard’s favour, but the US case heard in Virginia, sided with The Pirates of The Caribbean actor and left her facing a ‘heartbreaking’ loss.
Depp, 58, was awarded compensatory damages of $10million (£8 million) and a further $5 million (£4 million) in punitive damages by a jury.
Heard was awarded compensatory damages of $2million (£1.6 million) after proving one of her counterclaims to the jury after claiming his legal team falsely accused her of fabricating claims against the actor.
Both legal teams have since been locked in negotiations to avoid a third trial with the deal finally delivered over the weekend with both sides agreeing to put out a statement today.
In lengthy statement posted on Instagram by Heard, she claimed ‘my life as I knew it was destroyed’ by the court cases.
The actress said she wished to ’emancipate’ herself from the situation she’s been in for the last six years and her time could be better spent more ‘productively and purposefully’.
She previously told how she had sold her LA home to help fund the legal action and didn’t want to risk further losses in pursing the legal challenge.
This settlement means her home insurance company will take on the payment to Depp.
She also felt the scrutiny of the courtroom and in particular the full-glare of the American legal system which she says saw her testimony ‘served up as entertainment and social media fodder.’
The full statement reads: “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.
”It’s important for me to say that I never chose this. I 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-victimised 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.
”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.
“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 that 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. 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. Women shouldn’t have to face abuse or bankruptcy for speaking her truth, but unfortunately it not uncommon.
”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 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.
”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 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.”