“Amber is living her best life,” a source exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly, noting that the Aquaman star, 36, felt like “a pariah” after the highly publicized court battle ended with a jury siding with Depp, 60, in June 2022.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor — who was awarded $15 million in damages — originally sued Heard for defamation in 2019 over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she referred to herself as a domestic abuse survivor. The exes, who were married from 2015 to 2017, both took the stand during the 2022 court proceedings.
“The trial was watercooler conversation, and the energy around it was so intense,” the source explains. “[Amber] felt like people were always talking about her and just needed to get away.”
The insider adds that the Drive Angry actress “has been so much happier” since moving: “She’s still recovering from the trauma of the trial, but it’s been so healthy to get away from all the noise.”
Heard spoke out about the backlash to her testimony during a June 2022 appearance on Today. “I think the vast majority of this trial was played out on social media. I think that this trial is an example of that gone haywire, gone amok. And the jury’s not immune to that,” she said at the time.
The Texas native — who quietly welcomed Oonagh via surrogate in April 2021 — also opened up about seeing her ex-husband’s fans gather both inside and outside of the courthouse to support him.
“After three and a half weeks I took the stand and saw just a courtroom packed full of Captain Jack Sparrow fans who were vocal, energized,” she said. “This was the most humiliating and horrible thing I’ve ever been through. I have never felt more removed from my own humanity. I felt less than human.”
Although Heard is taking a step back from life in the public eye in the wake of the legal battle, she’s still acting. Her latest film, Into the Fire, is slated to premiere at the Taormina Film Festival in Italy on June 24. “[Amber feels] that she can potentially have a Hollywood comeback in the future,” teases the source. “Life is good right now.”
Depp, meanwhile, made headlines earlier this week when multiple outlets reported that the Edward Scissorhands star will donate the $1 million settlement he received from Heard to five charities of his choosing. The organizations include Make-A-Film-Foundation, The Painted Turtle, Red Feather, Tetiaroa Society and Amazonia Fund Alliance.
“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,” Depp’s attorneys said of the decision in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
“From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that,” he wrote in the statement.
Heard, for her part, said in a statement to Us Weekly at the time that she was “heartbroken” by the outcome of the trial. “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” she said.
For more on Heard’s next chapter, watch the video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.