On December 19, Aquaman actress Amber Heard shocked everyone when she announced on Instagram that she was dropping her appeal in her defamation case against Johnny Depp. Back in April, Depp and Heard engaged in a tense courtroom battle, with both claiming the other had defamed them. In the end, a jury decided that Ms. Heard and Mr. Depp were both guilty of defamation, but Heard more so. The jury awarded Depp more than $10 million, while Heard received a verdict of only $2 million.
Ms. Heard and Mr. Depp have both appealed the ruling, but it looks like Heard has decided that the fight is no longer worth it. Heard released a lengthy statement on Instagram, stating that she simply could not go through another defamation trial — which she had requested. She also pointed out that, in the United States, the case became social media fodder. In contrast, in the UK — where Depp unsuccessfully tried to sue a magazine for defamation based on Heard’s claims — her story was taken much more seriously, and she was treated like an actual domestic abuse victim.
Now, just hours after Heard shared that she was ending the fight against her ex-husband, Depp’s legal team has released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
“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,” said Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez, attorneys for Mr. Depp, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Monday. “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.”
While Heard was initially told she would need to pay more than $10 million, according to the statement, Heard will only pay Depp $1 million, and he will donate the money to charity. From the beginning, Depp has said that the case was not about the money — even though he lost a reported $22 million when he was dropped from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean 6.
Depp has always said that he wanted to prove the claims made about him in Heard’s 2018 Washington Post OpEd were false. In her statement, Heard said that, while she wasn’t pursuing her appeal, she was still a victim of sexual and domestic violence.