​Huge development in Depp v Heard case ​

Monday - 19/12/2022 10:43 Author: Editors Desk Source: News Corp Australia Network:
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have finally settled their defamation claims against each other, ending their years-long battle in the courts.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have finally settled their defamation claims against each other, ending their years-long battle in the courts.

The warring former couple agreed to end their legal feud, with Heard’s insurance company paying Depp $1 million ($1.5 million AUD) to end the case.

Heard, however, will be free to speak about the case and she has not accepted guilt as part of the agreement.

The pair have been engaged in a courtroom battle for the last six years over Heard’s claims that she was a victim of domestic violence during their marriage.

A court in London found in her favour, but a US court backed Depp - only for Heard to then appeal that ruling.

Heard was ordered to pay Depp $US10 million ($A14 million) in compensatory damages and $US5 million ($A7m) in punitive damages earlier this year after a jury decided she “acted with actual malice”. The latter penalty was reduced to $US350,000 ($A487,000).

Depp was ordered to pay Heard $US2m ($A2.78m) in compensation after she countersued for defamation.

Heard released a lengthy statement after her decision to settle was made public early on Tuesday morning.
 

Amber Heard at her US defamation trial against Johnny Depp earlier this year. (Photo by Steve Helber / POOL / AFP)
Amber Heard at her US defamation trial against Johnny Depp earlier this year. (Photo by Steve Helber / POOL / AFP)


“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,” she 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. 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. 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.

“I make this decision having lost faith in the American legal system, where my unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder.

“When I stood before a judge in the UK, I was vindicated by a robust, impartial and fair system, where I was protected from having to give the worst moments of my testimony in front of the world’s media, and where the court found that I was subjected to domestic and sexual violence. In the US, however, I exhausted almost all my resources in advance of and during a trial in which I was subjected to a courtroom that in which abundant, direct evidence that corroborated my testimony was excluded and in which popularity and power mattered more than reason and due process. In the interim I was exposed to a type of humiliation that I simply cannot re-live. Even if my US appeal is successful, the best outcome would be a re-trial where a new jury would have to consider the evidence again. I simply cannot go through that for a third time.

“Time is precious and I want to spend my time productively and purposefully. 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. 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 not uncommon.

“In settling this case I am also choosing the freedom to dedicate my time to the work that helped me heal after my divorce; work that exists in realms in which I feel seen, heard and believed, and in which I know I 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.

“I’d like to thank my outstanding appellate and original trial teams for their relentless hard work. I want to thank everyone who has supported me and turn my attention to the growing support that I’ve felt and seen publicly in the months since trial, and the efforts that have been made to show solidarity with my story. Any survivor knows that the ability to tell their story often feels like the only relief, and I cannot find enough words to tell you the hope your belief in me inspires, not just for me, but for all of you.

“Thank you. See you soon.”
 

Johnny Depp outside court.(Photo by Cliff Owen/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)
Johnny Depp outside court.(Photo by Cliff Owen/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)


Depp is yet to release a statement, but is expected to do so shortly.

After the trial ended earlier this year, he said the following:

“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. All in the blink of an eye,” he said.

“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 ever brought against me.

“It had already travelled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career.

“And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”

 Keywords: Johnny Depp

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