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Amber Heard and Johnny Depp settle defamation case

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp settle defamation case
/ © Cover Media

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have reached a settlement in their bitter defamation case.

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor took his ex-wife to court for describing herself as a public figure representing domestic abuse in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed.

After a bombshell trial in Virginia earlier this year, the jury found Heard liable for defaming Depp and he was awarded more than $10 million (£8.2 million) in damages, while she was awarded $2 million (£1.6 million) for her defamation countersuit.

Both filed appeals following the verdict, but on Monday, the Aquaman actress announced in a lengthy statement posted on Instagram that she has made the "very difficult decision" to settle the case.

"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," she wrote. "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."

The 36-year-old explained that she wants to move on with her life and draw a line under the legal battle, noting that she has lost faith in the U.S. justice system. She confessed that she couldn't face the thought of having to go through the "humiliation" again if her request for a re-trial had been successful.

"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," she continued. "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."

Heard went on to thank her legal teams, her supporters and fellow survivors, and stated, "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."

Heard did not divulge the terms of the settlement. However, reports suggest that her insurance company has paid Depp $1 million (£822,000) to put an end to the case.

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