The highly publicized defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard finally comes to the end. The Aquaman actress decided to pay $1 million to the 59-year-old actor and settle the legal battle that dominated the Internet for so long. The defamation claim was filed by Johnny Depp against his ex-wife over an op-ed published in The Washington Post. Following a long trial at the Virginia court, the jury gave its verdict in favor of the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.
Amber Heard was ordered to pay $10 million in compensatory charges along with $5 million in punitive damages which were further reduced to $350,000 by the Virginia court. On the other hand, Heard was also awarded a sum of $2 million over an issue of defamation from Depp’s team. Although the 36-year-old appealed against the decision, she has now decided to avoid any more legal trouble.
Why did Amber Heard decide to settle the case?
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were married in 2015 after their first meeting in 2009 on the set of The Rum Diary. But soon after their divorce in 2016, Depp was accused of domestic abuse and violence by the actress during the proceedings.
Amber Heard took to her Instagram account to pen a long note on her decision of settling the case. Even though she has made it very clear that she is not restricted to move forward with her opinion, she no more wants to stay caged in this matter which is affecting her in every way possible. She left no chance to criticize the legal system and accused it of turning her whole statement into mere “entertainment and social media fodder”.
“I make this decision have lost faith in the American legal system, where my unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder.”
Following that, she spoke about how she has finally decided to settle the case and suspend the appeal as she no longer wants to move into another version of the long trial procedure. She claimed that the amount of humiliation she faced last time can’t be “re-lived” by her once more as a result of which, she wants to spend her time productively and maintain peace of mind.
“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.”
After losing the case back in June this year, Amber Heard took to her Instagram to present her disappointment over the legal procedure. She brought that back in her recent statement and expressed how the U.K. trial was a lot fairer than the U.S. one and thereby she doesn’t think it to be very fruitful in dragging it anymore.
Amber Heard compares the U.S. Trial with U.K. Libel Trial
Before the Defamation Trial at Fairfax County in Virginia, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp also came face to face in a libel trial in England. There Johnny Depp sued the News Group Newspapers Ltd over an article published in The Sun where he was labeled as a “wife-beater”. But ultimately the case went against Depp and the verdict went in the favor of the publication, and thus Amber Heard.
In the colossal statement presented by the Paranoia actress, she mentioned how the U.K. Trial gave her a more secure environment to present all her statements under a protected umbrella. Whereas in the U.S. Defamation trial, much of the evidence was directly excluded by the court, and popularity won over truth:
“When I took before a judge in the U.K., 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 worlds media, and where the court found that I was subjected to domestic and sexual violence.”
“In the U.S., however, I exhausted almost all my resources in advance of and during a trial in which I was subject 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.”
As the long legal tussle now comes to an end, Amber Heard concluded her statement by thanking everyone and especially her legal team who stood by her in crucial moments.