Johnny Depp ‘to donate’ $1m of Amber Heard settlement to multiple charities

‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star is reportedly donating $200,000 to five different charities, after winning his defamation case against Heard last year

Roisin O'Connor
Friday 16 June 2023 19:47 BST
Amber Heard confirms move to Madrid in Spanish-speaking interview

Hollywood star Johnny Depp is planning to donate part of the settlement from his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard to charity.

The donations are part of a larger settlement agreed in December last year. Aquaman star Heard, 37, had previously been ordered to pay more than $10m in damages to Depp, 60, while he was ordered to pay Heard $2m following her countersuit accusing him of defamation after his lawyer called her abuse claims a “hoax”.

Depp filed a $50m defamation lawsuit against Heard in March 2019, accusing her of implying he abused her during their relationship in her 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post, in which she discussed her experiences of sexual assault and domestic abuse.

A Virginia jury ruled in favour of Depp on 1 June 2022.

The Oscar-nominated actor will reportedly donate $200,000 to five different charities: the Make-A-Film Foundation, Red Feather, The Painted Turtle, the Tetiaroa Society, and the Amazonia Fund Alliance.

The Make-A-Film Foundation works with film industry talent to grant wishes to children with serious of life-threatening medical conditions. Red Feather was established to develop housing solutions for indigenous communities in America, while The Amazonia Fund Alliance aims to protect and preserve indigenous communities in the Amazon.

The Tetiaroa Society focuses on the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the island of Tetiaroa, an atoll near Tahiti. Painted Turtle is a summer camp for children with serious medical conditions that was founded by actor Paul Newman, actor and philanthropist Page Hannah, and music and film producer Lou Adler in 1999.

Both Newman and Marlon Brando, the latter who worked with the Tetiaroa Society, are believed to be personal heroes of Depp.

The Hollywood Reporter cites a source confirming Depp’s planned donations.

Depp’s lawyers said of the settlement: “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.”

Meanwhile, Heard posted a lengthy Instagram statement that said she had agreed to settle in order to avoid yet another “arduous and expensive legal process”.

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She also said that she had exhausted “almost all” of her resources on the trial, writing: “I make this decision having lost faith in the American legal system, where my unprotected testimony served as entertainment and social media fodder.

“I cannot afford to risk an impossible bill – one that is not just financial but also psychological, physical and emotional.”

The US ruling came two years after Depp lost his libel battle against the publisher of The Sun newspaper over an article that referred to him as a “wife beater”. Depp’s bid to appeal the ruling in March 2021 was also rejected.

Heard was recently filmed speaking fluent Spanish with reporters outside her home in Madrid, as she confirmed that she had permanently relocated to the city with her two-year old daughter.

She added that she had “film projects” in the works. Asked about Depp’s presence at Cannes and whether she would also be attending, she responded: “I move on. That’s life.”

Meanwhile, Depp brushed off the suggestion that he had been “boycotted” by Hollywood after the US trial, remarking that he didn’t “have much further need” for it.

Referring to the idea he was making a “comeback” with French-language Jeanne du Barry, which premiered at Cannes last month, Depp said: “I didn’t go anywhere. As a matter of fact, I live about 45 minutes away… Comeback, it’s almost like I’m going to come out and do a tap dance.”

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