"I defended my truth and in doing so my life as I knew it was destroyed," Heard wrote.
Amber Heard is settling her defamation case with ex-husband Johnny Depp where a seven-person jury found that Heard defamed Depp, 59, in her op-ed about domestic violence. He was awarded more than $10 million in damages, reports PEOPLE. Calling it a "very difficult decision" the 36-year-old said in a statement that it was "important for me to say that I never chose this. I defended my truth 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 women are re-victimized when they come forward," she wrote referring to online vitriol she suffered throughout the trial.
Amber Heard has settled her defamation case with Johnny Depp for $1 million.— Pop Base (@PopBase) December 19, 2022
“I make this decision having lost faith in the American legal system, where my unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder.” pic.twitter.com/i3f3xK0cMK
Heard also compared the difference in the way her testimony in Depp's U.K. libel case against The Sun in November 2020 was received when compared to the way her more recent testimony in the U.S. was. She pointed out that "popularity and power mattered more than reason and due process." The libel case focused on headlines in the newspaper calling Depp a “wife beater.” Depp lost that libel trial because a judge in the case found the allegations printed in The Sun to be “substantially true,” according to the BBC.
"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," Heard shared. "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 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 continued. "In the interim, I was exposed to a type of humiliation that I simply cannot re-live."
I simply cannot go through that for a third time," Heard said adding that the US legal process "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," the actress added. "Women shouldn't have to face abuse or bankruptcy for speaking her truth, but unfortunately it is not uncommon." She is "choosing the freedom to dedicate my time to the work that helped me heal after my divorce."
"I will not be threatened, disheartened or dissuaded by what happened from speaking the truth," she wrote. "No one can and no one will take that from me. My voice forever remains the most valuable asset I have."
According to TODAY, Depp's attorneys Camille Vasquez and Ben Chew issued a statement soon after saying, "We are pleased to formally close the door on this painful chapter for Mr. Depp, who made clear throughout this process his intent to bring the truth to light. This was never about the money. The jury’s unanimous decision and the judgment in his favor against Ms. Heard remain fully in place, and the payment of $1M reinforces her acknowledgment of the legal system’s rigorous pursuit for justice."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Win McNamee