Johnny Depp continues to stay in the spotlight this week with his recent rock concert performance in England. His defamation case against ex-wife Amber finished its closing arguments on Friday; jurors came back with their verdict today, leaving the movie star with more time on his hands.
Depp’s Relationship with Music
The actor was seen playing guitar on stage with fellow musician Jeff Beck at England’s Sheffield City Hall. Beck had his tour scheduled in the U.K. for Monday and Tuesday at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The surprise appearance came as a shock to many. A tweet from the venue read:
Well…what a surprise we got last night when Johnny Depp joined @jeffbeckmusic on stage. Wishing @jeffbeckmusic good luck for the rest of his amazing tour and a big thank you to Johnny Depp for joining us!
This was not the first time Depp and Beck have collaborated, though; the duo released a song together titled “Isolation” in April 2020 during the pandemic. Beck’s website refers to Depp as an “unexpected conspirator” when describing the song. He even stated at the time:
You’ll be hearing more from Johnny and me in a little while but until then we hope you find some comfort and solidarity in our take on this Lennon classic.
This is not Depp’s first collaboration. He has been in a band with musicians Alice Cooper and Joe Perry called Hollywood Vampires since 2012. The father of two highlighted his music career and playing guitar earlier in his testimony, as well as how becoming a musician was always his first dream.
He used his love for guitar playing to confirm his alibi for not cutting his own finger during an alleged fight with Amber Heard in Australia in 2015. Even though Heard denies ever throwing a liquor bottle at the movie star, he argued that losing a finger from his left hand would have made him “learn how to play the guitar all over again.”
Why would I ruin the only thing that was really good in my life aside from my children?
The Dreaded Case
In Fairfax County, Virginia, a jury of seven began deliberating on Friday in Depp’s ongoing trial against Heard, 36. He is suing the “Aquaman” actress for defamation for an op-ed she penned in December 2018 about coming forward with domestic abuse allegations. He also wants $50 million in damages, saying that it harmed his career opportunities. Heard’s lawyers have responded by filing for a counterclaim of $100 million, saying that the doubled price is supposed to send “a message back.”
The head lawyers for both sides of the case made their closing arguments on Friday before the deliberations began. Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez remarked:
There is an abuser in this courtroom, but it is not Mr. Depp. Miss Heard is in fact the abuser and Mr. Depp is the abused.
Meanwhile, Heard’s lawyers pleaded with the jury to uphold Heard’s right to free expression. Her lawyer Ben Rottenborn stated:
This trial is about so much more than Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard. It’s about the freedom of speech and stand up, protect it and reject Mr. Depp’s claims against Amber.
The jury adjourned for the weekend without reaching a decision but will resume deliberations at 9 a.m. Tuesday. In response to the recent concert appearance at Sheffield Hall, Heard’s girlfriend Eve Barlow tweeted:
So Johnny Depp is on tour with Jeff Beck. He played in Sheffield tonight, and will likely play the Royal Albert Hall in London tomorrow and Tuesday. That's the domestic abuse victim waiting for his defamation case verdict. The one who's been cancelled.
— Eve Barlow (@Eve_Barlow) May 29, 2022
Today jurors came back with their verdict. They awarded Depp over $10 million and Heard $2 million.
Written by Ogechi Onyewuchi
Edited by Sheena Robertson
CNN: Johnny Depp gives surprise performance at Jeff Beck concert
New York Post: Johnny Depp plays surprise performance with Jeff Beck after defamation trial
People Magazine: Johnny Depp Performs at Concert in England as He Awaits Verdict in Amber Heard Defamation Trial
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