Amber Heard has settled her multi-million dollar US defamation case with former husband Johnny Depp, saying she has “lost faith in the American legal system”.
She said that she will not be going ahead with a planned appeal after their trial in the US.
In an Instagram post, the actress said that she came to the decision after “a great deal of deliberation” and that she never “chose this”.
The post said: “I defended my truth and in doing so my life as I knew it has been 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.”
The actress added that this post is not an admission of any actions, and “not an act of concession”.
The decision comes less than a month after Heard sought to appeal against the verdict in her legal battle against Depp, arguing that it will have a “chilling” effect on other women.
The former Aquaman star compared her treatment in courtrooms in both the UK and the US.
When giving evidence at Depp’s 2020 lawsuit against News Group Newspapers Ltd in the UK, Heard said she was “vindicated by a robust, impartial and fair system,” and protected from having to give “the worst moments of my testimony in front of the world’s media”.
Whereas in the US, she said she 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 said that even if her appeal was successful, the “best outcome” would be a re-trial with a new jury, something she said that she “simply cannot go through” for a third time.
“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,” she continued.
“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.”
The star added that by settling, she is “choosing the freedom to dedicate my time to the work that helped me heal after my divorce,” work that she said 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.”
Heard was sued by 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.
A jury at Fairfax County Court, in June this year, returned a verdict in his favour and Depp was awarded $10.3m (£8.43m) for damage to his reputation.
Heard won on one count of her counter-suit, successfully arguing that one of Depp’s attorneys defamed her by claiming her allegations were “an abuse hoax” aimed at capitalising on the #MeToo movement.
The jury awarded her $2m (£1.5m) in damages.
Representatives for Depp have been contacted for comment.
Since the US trial verdict, Depp has thrown himself into his music career. He made a surprise cameo at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards – joking with the audience he “needed the work” as he was projected on stage dressed as an astronaut.
He has also been seen performing with guitarist Jeff Beck and announcing a 2023 tour for his rock supergroup Hollywood Vampires.
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