Amber heard has agreed to pay Johnny Depp $1 million to settle his defamation claim against her — a deal that “anchors his victory” and is a “savvy PR move” for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, experts told Fox News Digital.
“It’s resignation,” said civil and criminal attorney Tim Parlatore of Heard’s decision to withdraw her appeal. “This anchors his victory. She solidifies his victory.”
A six-week blockbuster suit for defamation in June ended in defeat for Heard.
A Virginia jury awarded Depp $15 million after finding that his ex-wife defamed him by describing herself as a victim of domestic violence in a 2018 op-ed. Judge Penney Azcarate lowered the verdict to $10.35 million.
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The jury only awarded Heard $2 million in her countersuit. The $1 million settlement will be paid by one of Heard’s insurance policies.
In a lengthy statement posted to Instagram on Monday, Heard wrote, “I defended my truth and in doing so, my life as I knew it was destroyed.”
Heard added that the deal does not place any restrictions on her ability to talk about the case or her abuse allegations.
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“I have not conceded anything, this is not an act of concession,” she wrote. But Parlatore noted that if she published another op-ed with the same allegations that the jury found libelous, “she could absolutely be indicted again, and he would win because he already has a finding.”
Her Instagram statement was clearly vetted — if not written — by a lawyer, Parlatore said.
“Everything is contained in terms of ‘I’ve spoken my truth in court,’ but she’s not coming out to say he did this or that to me,” he said.
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New York attorney Todd Spodek called the settlement a “generous gesture” on Depp’s part.
“The verdict achieved its main purpose, which was public justification,” he said. “You can’t get blood out of a stone, and if Amber ain’t got the money, she ain’t got it.”
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He added that Depp who pledged the $1 million to charity had a rich irony after it was revealed that Heard donated only a small portion of her $7 million divorce payment, which she had promised to transfer in full to the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Eric Schiffer, president of Los Angeles-based Reputation Management Consultants, called the settlement an “incredibly smart PR move for Depp.”
“It shows compassion and prevents Amber from potentially having to file for bankruptcy with a young child he is the cause of,” Schiffer told Fox News Digital.
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Depp’s attorneys, Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez, said the case was never about money for their client.
“We are pleased to formally close the door on this painful chapter for Mr. Depp, who made it clear throughout this process that his priority was to expose the truth,” they said in a statement.
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Spodek added that a little foresight may have gone a long way for the former couple, who have battled publicly since their split in 2016.
“They should have followed writer Nora Ephron’s good advice: ‘Never marry someone you wouldn’t want to divorce,'” he said.