Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Settle Their Defamation Case

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Settle Their Defamation Case

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 18: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrives at Southport Magistrates Court on April 18, 2016 in Gold Coast, Australia. Heard is facing two counts of breaching Australia's quarantine laws by allegedly bringing in her pet dogs Pistol and Boo on a private jet in May 2015. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Image Source: Getty / Matt Roberts

Amber Heard has settled her defamation case against Johnny Depp. Heard announced the news in a lengthy Instagram post on Dec. 19. Back in June, a seven-person jury in Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Court found Heard liable for three counts of defamation toward Depp and Depp liable for one count of defamation toward Heard, Time confirmed. The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, and $2 million in compensatory damages to Heard. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported that Heard was appealing the court’s decision. The Times wrote that Heard’s lawyers claimed there were “numerous errors committed at trial, including allowing the case to be heard in Virginia and refusing to allow communications between Heard and certain doctors to be admitted as evidence.”

In her new statement, Heard wrote in part, “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.” Later in the statement, she wrote, “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.”

Heard also said she has “lost faith” in the American legal system and pointed out that she had won a similar case in the UK. Depp’s attorneys Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez said in a statement to POPSUGAR, “We are pleased to formally close the door on this painful chapter for Mr. Depp, who made clear throughout this process that his priority was about bringing the truth to light. The jury’s unanimous decision and the resulting judgement in Mr. Depp’s favor against Ms. Heard remain fully in place. The payment of $1M — which Mr. Depp is pledging and will donate to charities — reinforces Ms. Heard’s acknowledgement of the conclusion of the legal system’s rigorous pursuit for justice.” TMZ first reported that the settlement is for $1 million.

Depp and Heard both filed initial appeal paperwork a month after their trial wrapped. Depp had appealed Heard’s $2 million damages award, Entertainment Weekly reported on Nov. 3, with his attorneys calling the decision “erroneous” and pushing to get it overturned. Ahead, here’s a full breakdown of the aftermath of Depp and Heard’s trial.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Issued Statements Following Their Defamation Trial

Minutes after the jury announced their verdict in Depp and Heard’s June trial, the latter released a statement on Instagram. “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” Heard wrote. “I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband. . . . I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American — to speak freely and openly.”

Depp also shared a statement via Instagram following the verdict. “Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people, who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed. . . . False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were brought against me. . . . And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”

Amber Heard Gave Her First Interview About the Defamation Trial Days After the Verdict

On June 13, Heard gave her first interview since the verdict, speaking to NBC News’s Savannah Guthrie. “I don’t care what one thinks about me or what judgments you want to make about what happened in the privacy of my own home, in my marriage, behind closed doors. I don’t presume the average person should know those things,” she said in a clip from the interview that aired on June 14 and 15. “But even somebody who is sure I’m deserving of all this hate and vitriol, even if you think that I’m lying, you still couldn’t look me in the eye and tell me that you think on social media there’s been a fair representation. You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair.”

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Of the jury verdict, Heard said, “I don’t blame them. I actually understand. He’s a beloved character and people feel they know him. He’s a fantastic actor.”

What Happened During Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s Defamation Trial?

Depp and Heard’s highly publicized trial began on April 12 after the former sued his ex-wife for $50 million for libeling him in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote, in which she referred to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard later countersued with a $100 million claim against the Pirates of the Caribbean star for allegedly damaging her career. The counterclaim came after she alleged that Depp’s lawyer called her allegations against the actor a hoax.

Over the course of the civil trial, testimony from Depp and Heard revealed details about the former couple’s short-lived marriage, which lasted less than two years — including graphic allegations of physical and sexual abuse as well as alleged aggression from both parties. Part of determining who was liable to the other was determining whose words were true and therefore not libelous.

If you are experiencing domestic violence in the United States and need help, you can go to to chat with someone or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

— Additional reporting by Victoria Edel