Amber Heard drops appeal against $10m Johnny Depp defamation award but insists: ‘I won’t be gagged’



Amber Heard has settled her multi-million-dollar US defamation case with former husband Johnny Depp.

he said in a statement on Instagram: “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,” the actor said.

“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.”

Earlier this month, Ms Heard sought to appeal against the verdict in her legal battle against Depp, arguing that it will have a “chilling” effect on other women.

Ms Heard was sued by Mr Depp over a 2018 article she wrote for the Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse, which his lawyers said falsely accused him of being an abuser.

In June this year, a jury at Fairfax County Court returned a verdict in his favour and he was awarded $10.3 million for damage to his reputation.

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Continuing her statement on Instagram on Monday, Ms 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.

“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. 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.”

Ms Heard added that: “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 is not uncommon.”



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