After years of having his name dragged through the mud by everyone from misled fans to Disney executives thanks to her defamatory op-ed, Johnny Depp has finally reached the end of his battle to reclaim his reputation from his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Following a Virginia jury’s June 1st verdict that the actress had indeed defamed her ex-husband with her now infamous The Washington Post op-ed, Heard attempted to appeal the decision on the grounds that the court had made numerous errors in its handling of the proceedings, particularly by allowing Depp’s lawsuit to actually move forward.
However, ostensibly realizing the futility of her poorly-argued attempt to evade accountability and reaching an agreement with Depp’s lawyers to pay only $1 million of her originally ordered $8.35 million, the actress has now withdrawn her appeal.
As announced by Heard in a four-part post published to her personal Instagram account on December 19th, “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.”
“It’s important for me to say that I never chose this,” continued the Aquaman actress. ” 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-victimized 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,” she then claimed. “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,” wrote Heard, before disingenuously asserting. “When I took before a judge in the U.K., 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 worlds media, and where the court found that I was subjected to domestic and sexual violence.”
“In the U.S., however, I exhausted almost all my resources in advance of and during a trial in which I was subject to a courtroom in which abundant, direct evidence that corroborated my testimony was excluded and in which popularity and power mattered more than reason and due process,” she argued.
“In the interim I was exposed to a type of humiliation that I simply cannot re-live,” said Heard. “Even if my U.S. appeal is successful, the best outcome would be a re-trial where a new jury would have to consider the evidence age. I simply cannot go through that for a third time.”
“Time is precious, and I want to spend my time productively and purposefully,” the Zack Snyder’s Justice League actress told the public.
“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,” stated Heard. “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 is not uncommon.”
The actress further affirmed, “In settling this case I’m 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,” she declared. ” No one can and no one will take that from me. My voice forever remains the most valuable asset I have.”
Drawing her statement to a close, Heard took a moment to “thank my outstanding appellate and original trial teams for their relentless hard work.”
“I want to thank everyone who has supported me and I turn my attention to the growing support that I felt and seen publicly in the months since trial, and the efforts have been made to show solidarity with my story,” she praised. “Any survivor knows that the ability to tell their story often feels like the only relief. I cannot find enough words to tell you the hope your belief in me inspires.”
“Not just for me, but for all of you,” Heard concluded. “Thank you. See you soon.”
In a separate statement given to the media on the actor’s behalf, Depp’s attorneys Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez welcomed Heard’s withdrawal, stating, “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,” they recalled. “The payment of $1 million – which Mr. Depp is pledging and will (actually) donate to charities – reinforces Ms. Heard’s acknowledgement of the conclusion of the legal system’s rigorous pursuit for justice.”