Actor Johnny Depp will officially release his first major project since the end of his $50 million defamation trial against his ex-wife, Hollywood actress, Amber Heard.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met on the set of The Rum Diary (2011), with the pair married in 2015, sometime after Depp’s relationship with Vanessa Paradis ended. By 2016, Heard had filed a no notice restraining order against her husband under domestic abuse allegations. Following their divorce, Heard penned an Op-Ed in The Washington Post in December 2018, sparking her ex-husband’s $50 million defamation lawsuit.
The DC movie star claims she was a public figure representing domestic abuse, but as the defamation case presided over by Judge Penney Azcarate in Fairfax County, Virginia came to its six-week-long end, the jury found that Heard had defamed Depp issuing charges of $10.35 million; Heard won $2 million in the case when the jury found Depp, via his former lawyer Adam Waldman, had defamed the Aquaman (2018) actress. In a legal battle that promised stars like James Franco, Paul Bettany, and Elon Musk, Mr Depp and Ms Heard’s case ended with consequences on both sides.
While the trial’s conclusion saw Heard and her lawyers, Elaine Bredehoft and Benjamin Rottenborn, and Depp’s lawyers, Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew, present at the verdict reading, Depp was not. Instead, the former Pirates of the Caribbean actor was in the United Kingdom, following a surprise appearance on musician Jeff Beck’s tour.
Most well-known for his ventures as the roguish Captain Jack Sparrow, Depp is also a musician. He first appeared with Beck at Sheffield City Hall in England, U.K., before going on to sing and play guitar at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Now, in a surprising turn of events, Beck has announced Depp’s first major project since winning his defamation trial against Heard — an album with him.
Variety reported that Beck told audiences at a recent concert about his Depp team-up. They said:
“I’m gonna take this opportunity and tell you I met this guy five years ago, and we’ve never stopped laughing since,” Beck told the crowd about Depp (via Stereogum). “We actually made an album. I don’t know how it happened. It will be out in July.”
The album will be the first widespread commercial project for Depp, whose last movie, Minamata (2020) — where he played photographer W. Eugene Smith — did not have a big theatrical release. In fact, it only gained a small domestic release last December.
Following the libel suit events at the London High Court, where Justice Andrew Nicol found domestic violence allegations against Depp “substantially true” in November 2020, Depp was fired from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise by Harry Potter creator, JK Rowling; Mads Mikkelsen replaced Depp as the dark wizard in the Warner Bros. movies. The result of the libel trial Depp brought against The Sun and executive editor, Dan Wootton, was appealed by the actor in March 2021 but to no avail.
As for Pirates of the Caribbean, The Walt Disney Company’s swashbuckling franchise has seemingly replaced Depp’s Jack Sparrow with Margot Robbie (The Suicide Squad, Barbie) in a forthcoming Pirates 6 project. However, now Depp has won his defamation suit, an action which has also forced The Washington Post to add an Editor’s Note to Heard’s Op-Ed, there could still be a door open for him to return.
Amber Heard will next appear in a reportedly cut-down role in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023), where she will star as Mera alongside Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry/Aquaman). Like the appeal Depp brought forward against the libel case verdict, Heard will challenge the defamation verdict, according to her lawyer.
Will you be picking up Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp’s album this July? Let us know in the comments down below!