Did Amber Heard Pay Johnny Depp? What He Did With The $1 Million Settlement

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A year after the trial and more than 6 months after the settlement, many people are wondering: did Amber Heard pay Johnny Depp?

In an Instagram post posted on December 19, 2022, Amber Heard made a statement in regard to settling the defamation case. “It’s important for me to say that I never chose this,” she wrote. “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-victimised when they come forward.”

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She continued, “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,” she continued. “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 Aquaman actress later said, “In settling this case I’m also choosing the freedom to dedicate my time to the work that helped me heal after my divorce; work that exists in realms in which I feel seen, heard and believed and in which I know I can effect change.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.”

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Heard settled $1 million with Depp in December 2023 after a headline-making trial in April and May 2022. After six weeks of testimony in court, a jury ruled in favor of Depp on June 1, 2022. He was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages for a total of $15 million. Depp also was ordered to pay Heard $2 million in compensatory damages. Due to the cap on punitive damages under Virginia state law, Judge Penney Azcarate reduced Heard’s punitive damages from $5 million to $350,000.

So, did Amber Heard pay Johnny Depp? Read more below to find out.

Did Amber Heard pay Johnny Depp?

Amber Heard
Image: Getty ImagesAmber Heard

Did Amber Heard pay Johnny Depp? According to TMZ, Amber Heard paid Johnny Depp in full and the money was covered by Amber’s insurance company as part of her settlement following the defamation trial.

Shortly after the settlement was announced, Depp’s lawyers gave a statement about where Depp will distribute the settlment money. “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,” Attorneys Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez, told E! News at the time. “The jury’s unanimous decision and the resulting judgement in Mr. Depp’s favor against Ms. Heard remain fully in place.”

They added, “The payment of $1M—which Mr. Depp is pledging and will actually donate to charities—reinforces Ms. Heard’s acknowledgment of the conclusion of the legal system’s rigorous pursuit for justice.”

The $1 million will be split up between five charities. The first charity is the Make a Film Foundation, founded by Tamika Lamison which works similarly as the Make a Wish Foundation. The foundation  grants film wishes to children and teenagers who have serious or life-threatening medical conditions helping them to create short film legacies by teaming them with noted actors, writers and directors.

Two foundations were founded by some of Depp’s heroes like the The Painted Turtle which was founded by Paul Newman and Marlon Brando’s non-profit the Tetiaroa Society. The Painted Turtle helps children with chronic illnesses experience the joy of camping while the Tetiaroa Society funds conservation efforts, scientific research and education programs for local schools to drive Tetiaroa island sustainability.

The remaining proceeds will go to Red Feather, which works with Indigenous communities such as the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe to create housing solutions, and the Amazonia Fund Alliance Project which funds projects of preservation, reforestation, and help to indigenous tribes in the Amazon Rainforest.

Depp won the defamation trial after he sued Heard for $50 million. Amber wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2018 about her experiences with domestic abuse. Though no names were mentioned, many people speculated it to be about her marriage to Depp. Depp claimed that the op-ed cost him his acting jobs. In 2016, Heard said that she pledged to donate the full $7 million divorce settlement she got from Johnny Depp to charity, half to the ACLU and half to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

In another slide of her settlement case statement, Heard talked about the differences of the justice systems of the US and the UK in regards to the defamation cases. “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 wrote on Instagram Monday. “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. 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 wrote, saying that 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 continued, “Time is precious, and I want to spend my time productively and purposefully. 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. 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.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) for confidential support.

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