Depending on your mood and philosophy, the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial could feel like a tabloid frenzy, a test of the health of the #MeToo movement, or a thunderous condemnation of the world’s media literacy. But a Virginia jury has officially sided with Depp, and now the 58-year-old actor is celebrating by accepting his next role as rock star gone to seed. He took the stage with Jeff Beck last night in Gateshead, England, where the two friends announced a new collaborative album due out next month.
Depp had previously joined Beck for a surprise cameo in May, and last night Beck explained how much their friendship has meant to him. “I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you that I met this guy five years ago and we haven’t stopped laughing since,” he said in fan-footage of the concert. “We actually made an album. I don’t know how it happened. It will be out in July.”
No title or release date has been announced, but fans may have heard a preview of the album last night. The set began with Depp performing an unreleased track about the great actress — and co-inventor of spread-spectrum broadcast communications technologies — Hedy Lamarr. They also covered Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing,” and John Lennon’s “Isolation,” which they had previously released as a studio recording. Watch footage of the concert below.
The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and an additional $5 million in punitive damages, though since Virginia caps punitive damages at $350,000, he’s owed a total of $10.35 million. Meanwhile, the jury also awarded Heard $2 million as part of her countersuit. That still leaves Heard in a big hole; her lawyer says she can’t afford it, and anyway plans to appeal. As for Depp, he’s already in pre-production on his next movie, a period drama in which he’ll play King Louis V. But large studios may still see him as too much of a liability for tentpole blockbusters.