UNITED STATES: The American actress Amber Heard has announced a legal settlement in her defamation case against her ex-husband and fellow actor Johnny Depp, saying that decision was “not an act of concession.”
Heard will pay Depp $1 million (£820,000) in the settlement of their defamation lawsuit, attorneys for Depp told the media.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard squared off in court in a high-profile conflict
A Virginia jury mostly sided with Johnny Depp in June after finding that Heard had defamed Depp, 59, in an article in which she claimed to be a domestic abuse victim.
She appealed the case earlier this month, requesting a fresh trial or that the jury’s decision be overturned.
The Aquaman actress, however, said in a statement on Monday that she had chosen to settle after “losing faith in the American justice system.”
Amber Heard, 36, wrote on her Instagram account, describing the decision to settle with Johnny Depp as “very difficult” and something that “required much deliberation.”
Heard has dropped her appeal because she “just cannot go through” another trial in order to challenge the jury’s $10 million verdict, her Instagram post reads.
“Even if my US appeal is successful, the best outcome would be a retrial,” she said, adding that “I simply cannot go through that.”
Johnny Depp submitted a defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife in response to her 2018 op-ed that was written and published in the Washington Post and in which she labelled herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” without directly referencing Depp. Heard filed a countersuit.
The six-week trial, which was televised, garnered worldwide public scrutiny. The former couple, who divorced in 2017, provided starkly different stories of their five-year union, with each accusing the other of misbehaviour and violence.
Johnny Depp strongly refuted his ex-wife’s testimony, in which she claimed that he had physically, emotionally, and sexually abused her. The jury sided mostly with Depp and awarded him $15 million (£12 million) in damages.
Some legal experts expressed surprise at the verdict, especially as it followed Johnny Depp’s defeat in a similar case in the UK two years prior.
Attorneys for Johnny Depp said in a statement on Monday that they were pleased to “officially close the door on this painful chapter for Depp” and further stated that the actor will be donating the $1 million settlement to several charities.