Amber Heard settles defamation suit against Johnny Depp

Posted at 12:00 PM, December 19, 2022 and last updated 5:34 PM, July 7, 2023

(Court TV) — Amber Heard has agreed to pay $1 million to settle her defamation suit with ex-husband Johnny Depp, according to an announcement the actress posted on Instagram Monday. While she didn’t explain specifics related to the settlement, she made clear this move was not an admission of guilt, but a way for her to free herself from a situation that she says “destroyed her life.”


“I finally have the opportunity to emancipate myself from something I attempted to leave over six years ago and on terms I can agree to.”

Heard’s news comes five months after a Virginia judge rejected an effort by Heard’s counsel to set aside the $10 million judgment award against her.

Following Heard’s announcement, Johnny Depp’s attorneys, Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez, told Court TV:

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. The payment of $1M – which Mr. Depp is pledging and will donate to charities – reinforces Ms. Heard’s acknowledgement of the conclusion of the legal system’s rigorous pursuit for justice.

Heard’s lawyers filed a notice of appeal in Fairfax County Circuit Court that detailed her intentions to appeal the judgment, as well as rulings the judge made after the verdict and dismiss the lawsuit or order a new trial.

Depp sued Heard for libel over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Depp’s lawyers alleged he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned him by name. Heard filed counterclaims, alleging that Depp’s former lawyer defamed her by publicly characterizing her abuse allegations as a hoax.

TRIAL ARCHIVES: Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard (2022)

Actor Johnny Depp gestures to spectators in court after closing arguments at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Friday, May 27, 2022. Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” (AP Photo/Steve Helber, Pool)

Much of the testimony during the six-week trial focused on Heard’s claims that she had been physically and sexually abused by Depp at least a dozen times. Depp insisted that he never hit Heard and that she was the abuser.

The jury ordered Heard to pay Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The punitive damages were reduced to $350,000 under a state cap. The jury awarded Heard $2 million on her counterclaim.

Heard’s latest Instagram post reaffirms her unwavering position that she “always told the truth.

“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.”

More: The Johnny Depp Defamation Case


The Associated Press contributed to this story.