What Led Johnny Depp and Amber Heard to Settle Their Divorce Case
By Antoinette Bueno
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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Reach Settlement in Divorce Case
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Looks like Johnny Depp is relieved his legal battle with Amber Heard has finally come to an end.
ET caught up with Depp's attorney, Laura Wasser, on Tuesday in Los Angeles shortly after Depp and Heard officially settled their divorce case, and Heard dropped her request for a domestic violence restraining order against the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.
A source tells ET that it was actually the photo of Depp's severed finger leaked on Monday which prompted their quick agreement.
"It was the photo that came out yesterday and Johnny being anxious about it going to trial that prompted the quick settlement," the source says.
Depp agreed to pay Heard $7 million to settle the case, which includes attorneys' fees, according to TMZ. However, reports claim that the financial settlement wasn't what Heard and Depp had trouble coming to an agreement on. The two actually already reached a financial settlement over the weekend, the Daily Mail reports, but Heard reportedly wanted a joint statement in which Depp admitted he committed domestic violence, which Depp refused.
Instead, their joint statement on Tuesday acknowledged that "neither party has made false accusations for financial gains."
"Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love," Heard and Depp's statement reads. "Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains. There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity."
The statement is a change from how Wasser previously responded to Heard's allegations, claiming the actress was "attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse."
Heard's lawyers, Samantha F. Spector and Joseph P. Koenig, said Heard has been "vindicated in the Court of Public Opinion" in a statement on Tuesday.
"We are very pleased that this matter has been settled and Amber has been vindicated in the Court of Public Opinion," the statement reads. "The case was incredibly challenging and demanding on everyone involved, but mostly on Amber who showed great grace and strength under fire. It was an honor to represent her."
However, Heard's lawyers later retracted and apologized for that comment. "The statement made today on behalf of myself and Joseph Koenig was made without the knowledge or approval of Amber Heard. The statement is untrue and we retract it, without qualification," Spector said. "My assertion that Amber Heard has been vindicated in the court of public opinion is not true. We regret the error and apologize to Johnny Depp."
Leading up to the settlement, stories of 53-year-old Depp and 30-year-old Heard's troubled relationship made plenty of headlines. On Friday, a video that appears to show Depp throwing a wine bottle and glass during an argument with Heard was leaked. Heard denied releasing the tape, while Depp sources maintained it was "heavily edited."
On Monday, there were also reports of a gruesome incident where Depp allegedly severed his finger in March 2015 during an argument with Heard in which he allegedly accused her of cheating with actor Billy Bob Thornton. Thornton has strongly denied any affair. Heard and 61-year-old Thornton worked together on 2008's The Informers and the yet-to-be-released film, London Fields. It was this leaked photo of Depp's bloody finger that our source says prompted the quick divorce settlement.
Of course, there have been other disturbing pictures -- and even text messages -- surrounding the former couple. In June, People published photos of Heard that revealed a mark on her eye and a cut lip allegedly caused by a December 2015 incident. That same day, ET also exclusively obtained text messages that a source says are between Heard and a man purported to be Johnny Depp's assistant, Stephen Deuters -- that date back to before the estranged couple was married -- claiming that Depp was physically abusive with her.
"He's incredibly apologetic and knows that he has done wrong," Deuters' alleged text reads. "He wants to get better now. He's been very apologetic and knows that he has done wrong ... He's a little lost boy. And needs all the help he can get. He is so very sorry, as he should be."
"I endured excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse from Johnny, which has included angry, hostile, humiliating and threatening assaults to me whenever I questioned his authority or disagreed with him," court documents obtained by ET read. "Johnny has a long-held and widely-acknowledged public and private history of drug and alcohol abuse. He has a short fuse. He is often paranoid and his temper is exceptionally scary for me as it has proven many times to be physically dangerous and/or life threatening to me."
Watch the video below for a timeline on Heard and Depp's troubled relationship.