We may have just come to the end of one of the most controversial celebrity court cases in recent times. Amber Heard released a statement through her official Instagram account detailing her difficult decision to settle the defamation case against her ex-husband once and for all. This comes on the heels of a recent report that Heard had filed a counter-appeal just last week.
The post tells the story of a woman tired of fighting to have her voice heard and her distrust of the US legal system to give her justice. According to the first page of the statement on Instagram, Heard wrote,
“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. 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.”
As of the time of this report, the post has received over 189,000 likes on Instagram.
What was the defamation case about?
Undeniably, the biggest celebrity court case of 2022, the Depp v Heard defamation case kept the world in shock with its revelations, accusations, and counter-accusations. If you were lucky enough to have missed all that, here’s a quick breakdown of how it all went down and why Heard’s decision to settle the case proves a difficult one for the actress.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor and Heard first met during the production of the 2011 American comedy-drama, The Rum Diary in 2009. While it’s now public knowledge that both actors had a marriage that lasted a few months, they had known each other for about a decade. Also, they were in a relationship for most of those years.
The Washington Post op-ed
This would be the beginning of a legal battle neither party envisaged would take a toll on their mental, physical, and partly financial health. In 2018, an op-ed written by Heard for The Washington Post was published. Although it did not categorically mention Johnny Depp’s name, Amber Heard talked about surviving domestic violence.
Johnny Depp sues for defamation
Whether called out or implied, Johnny Depp and his legal team filed defamation charges against Amber Heard in 2019. The actor was seeking $50 million in defamatory damages. Johnny Depp also goes on record to clear the air that Amber Heard wasn’t any victim of domestic violence but was, in fact, the act’s perpetrator.
The UK libel trial verdict of 2020 gives victory to Amber Heard.
Amber Heard countersues
Having won conclusively in a UK court, Amber Heard decides to countersue Johnny Depp for $100 million in 2021. This set in motion a six-week-long trial starting in April of 2022 and lasting until June. After the US Memorial Day holiday, a reconvened jury deliberated and gave a verdict in favor of Johnny Depp on June 1.
The unanimous jury vote awarded Johnny Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and an additional $5 million in punitive damages. The same jury also awarded Amber Heard compensatory damages to the tune of $2 million in her counterclaim. However, nothing was awarded for punitive damages.
Depp still feels cheated
In a surprising move, we saw Depp’s legal team file an appeal against the verdict insisting the actor did not directly defame Heard. Depp felt it was unfair for him to pay Heard’s $2 million compensatory damages when the defamatory statement was said to be made by his lawyer, Adam Waldman.
Amber Heard files new appeal
A few days ago, Amber Heard’s legal team made a fresh appeal. The appeal was filed on the grounds that a previous court ruling in the UK had favored Heard and found that she was truly a victim of domestic violence. The appeal also sought to question the jurisdiction of the US court. In the appellant’s argument, the defamation trial should have taken place in California and not in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Do you think Amber Heard’s decision to settle this defamatory case is the last we’ll hear of it?
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