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Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have finally settled the terms of their defamation lawsuit

Rachel Lang

Published 
| Last updated 

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have finally settled the terms of their defamation lawsuit

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS / Alamy. Newscom / Alamy.

Amber Heard has agreed to pay her ex-husband Johnny Depp USD$1 million (AUD$ 1.5 million, £823,000), to bring their lengthy courtroom battle to an end.

The settlement, which will be paid by Heard's insurance company, finally closes one of the most bitter legal feuds in recent Hollywood history.

But Heard had stressed the settlement is not an admission of guilt, but is instead a last-resort effort to move on.

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She released a lengthy statement on social media after news of the former couple's settlement went public.

"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," the 36-year-old said.

"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.

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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."

She added: "I have made no admission [of guilt]. This is not an act of concession."

Heard also revealed in the settlement agreement there were no 'restrictions or gags' with respect to her voice, meaning she is free to talk about the case if she chooses without legal consequence.

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In her statement, Heard said she has 'lost faith in the American legal system', but explained how she cannot afford to risk the financial, psychological, physical, and emotional toll future courtroom proceedings may have on her.

"Women shouldn’t have to face abuse or bankruptcy for speaking her truth, but unfortunately it is not uncommon," she said.

Heard outside of a London court; a court battle she would later win against Depp. Credit: UPI / Alamy
Heard outside of a London court; a court battle she would later win against Depp. Credit: UPI / Alamy

"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."

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Depp sued Amber Heard over an op-ed that appeared in The Washington Post in 2018 and he won his case at the beginning of June.

The article was entitled: "I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change."

The jury unanimously found in favour of Depp, and Heard was ordered to pay Depp $10 million ($AUD 13.7 million, £7.9 million) in compensatory damages and $5 million ($AUD 6.8 million, £3.9 million) in punitive damages.

However, Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the punitive costs, bringing the sum owed to Depp to $10.35 million ($AUD 14.2 million, £8.2 million).

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Depp was also ordered to pay his ex-wife $2 million ($AUD 2.7 million, £1.5 million) as a result of a counterclaim filed by Heard.

Topics: Celebrity, Amber Heard, Johnny Depp, US News, Entertainment

Rachel Lang
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