Amber Heard has settled her defamation case against ex-husband Johnny Depp — forking over just a portion of the amount she was initially ordered to pay — and she released a statement refusing to admit any fault and condemning the American justice system.
According to a report from entertainment website TMZ, Heard will pay $1 million to Depp in order to settle the case permanently after she was ordered over the summer to pay him 10 times that amount. The report indicated that the payment is likely to come from Heard’s insurance company rather than her own bank account, however.
Heard released a lengthy statement addressing the settlement, sharing it publicly via Instagram:
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“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,” Heard began, claiming that the backlash she had received on social media was sexist and only proved that women who come forward to claim that they are victims of domestic violence are re-victimized by the court of public opinion.
“I have made no admission. This is not an act of concession,” she insisted, going on to claim that because the American court had decided against her, the British justice system — which “vindicated” her — was the only system of the two that functioned properly.
Heard argued that the U.S. court had thrown out good evidence that would have proven her claims, saying that the entire process had humiliated her and had proven that the in the American court system, “popularity and power mattered more than reason and due process.” Her decision to settle, she said, was borne solely out of her desire to avoid going through the process 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,” Heard continued, adding that she intended to spend her time with her daughter and repeating her claim that the system was slanted against female victims. “Women shouldn’t have to face abuse or bankruptcy for speaking her truth, but unfortunately it is not uncommon.”
“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,” she asserted.
Heard testified at length during her Virginia trial over the summer, but the jury did not find her testimony to be credible and sided mostly with Depp.
Depp has not yet commented on the settlement.