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Amber Heard Announces Settlement Agreement With Johnny Depp

Amber Heard exits a building and the wind blows her hair, wearing a black shirt and multiple necklaces.

After the entire disgusting and grueling experience with the American justice system, actress Amber Heard has reached a settlement with her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, for $1 million.

In 2018, after a high-profile divorce in which Heard accused Depp of domestic violence, she published an op-ed in conjunction with the ACLU in which she discussed being a “public figure representing domestic abuse” and the media backlash. Depp sued, claiming the article defamed him and allegedly ruined his career.

At the end of the farce, a jury awarded Depp $15 million in damages, but it was automatically reduced to $350,000. Heard was awarded $2 million for one of her countersuits, in which she claimed that one of Depp’s attorneys defamed her. Many were confused about this, and Heard did file an appeal prior to this decision.

Today, Heard shared an emotional post on Instagram (with limited comments due to the massive harassment she has faced) in which she talks about her decision and why, despite already having appealed, she is choosing to settle.

“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 writes. “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.”

Attorneys for Depp said, via WaPo, that they were “pleased to formally close the door on this painful chapter for Mr. Depp, who made it clear throughout this process that his priority was about bringing the truth to light.”

The entire spectacle of the trial, which was like a bad American reboot of the UK version (in which a justice determined that Depp committed domestic violence against Heard at least 12 times), saw people turning Heard’s testimony about rape and abuse into sexy TikToks. Multiple YouTubers with little knowledge on the nuances of domestic violence used the trial to morally grandstand while making money. Since the end of the trial, we have seen the ramifications in the public responses to other women, celebrities and otherwise. The most recent example occurred in Australia, when Brittany Higgins dropped her high-profile case against Bruce Lehrmann due to a retrial posing “significant and unacceptable risk” to her health. Anthony Rapp, a male victim of sexual assault, didn’t get a big boost in support of his case on social media from the same people who were quick to say feminists were “ignoring male victims” when calling out the sexism in the Depp-Heard trial.

So many people have said that people will look back at these events a decade from now and ask, “how could we have gotten it so wrong?” Well, I think that’s bullshit. We are living in a world that has told us time and time again how it will respond to allegations of abuse. The most popular true crime media subjects (outside of serial killers) are wrongful convictions and miscarriages of justice. I hope Amber Heard has peace and can raise her daughter with all the love and security every child deserves.

(via Washington Post, featured image: Win McNamee, Getty Images)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.