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Entertainment & Arts

Amber Heard donates $7-million Johnny Depp divorce settlement to charities

Amber Heard
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, shown at the 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala, have reached a divorce settlement.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Just two days after the conclusion of her contentious divorce proceedings with ex-husband Johnny Depp, Amber Heard has donated the $7 million she received in the settlement to two charities.

“As described in the restraining order and divorce settlement, money played no role for me personally and never has, except to the extent that I could donate it to charity and, in doing so, hopefully help those less able to defend themselves,” in a statement from Heard, released Thursday afternoon.

In the days immediately following Heard filing for divorce on May 23, the actress was granted a temporary restraining order against Depp based on her allegations that the actor had been repeatedly physically abusive, a claim her legal team supported with photographs of Heard’s bruised face, taken in the aftermath of an alleged dispute with Depp.

The pair were due to appear in court Wednesday to determine whether the restraining order would remain in place moving forward, a hearing that would have exposed both parties to further public scrutiny.

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Depp denied all allegations of abuse toward Heard and in preliminary hearings, his legal representation suggested that his estranged wife was merely looking to financially capitalize on their divorce.

Upon announcement of their settlement Tuesday, the former couple released a joint statement reading, “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any 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. There will be no further public statements about this matter.’

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Heard’s statement regarding her charitable donations states that she was awarded $7 million in the divorce and all of those funds would be donated equally between the American Civil Liberties Union, with focus on battling violence against women, and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where Heard has volunteered for 10 years.

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“Over the years, I have seen firsthand how more funding for staffing, better equipment and better medication can make the difference between life or death for a child,” Heard said.

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU, commented on Heard’s donation, saying, “For years, we have worked through the courts and legislatures around the country to make sure that domestic violence victims are fully protected by the law and receive the government assistance they deserve. We could not be more thankful for Ms. Heard’s support -- she can be confident that this gift will help other women live safely and freely.”

Paul S. Viviano, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles also commented on the funds provided by Heard. 

“On behalf of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ leadership, staff and the thousands of brave patients and their families who will benefit from this donation, I would like to thank Amber Heard for this tremendous gift. Her generosity will support the lifesaving treatments and cures that Children’s Hospital Los Angeles provides for critically ill children each year,” Viviano said in a statement.

libby.hill@latimes.com

Twitter: @midwestspitfire

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