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With defamation case behind him, Johnny Depp makes his next move with rocker Jeff Beck

Johnny Depp with hair in his face and wearing sunglasses, waves
Johnny Depp, pictured in 2020, collaborated with musician Jeff Beck for an upcoming album.
(Frank Augstein / Associated Press)
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Days after winning his divisive defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, Johnny Depp is teaming with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame musician Jeff Beck for an album set to be released this summer.

The announcement was made onstage at Beck’s concert Thursday night in Gateshead, England, as Depp once again made a cameo at one of the guitarist’s performances. Depp’s appearance marked his first public showing since a jury on Wednesday awarded him $15 million in damages, which was promptly reduced to about $10.4 million.

Fan footage posted to YouTube captured the moment between songs when Beck shared the news with the audience.

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“I’m gonna take this opportunity and tell you that I met [Depp] five years ago and we’ve never stopped laughing since,” Beck told the crowd, as he had done at previous shows the last week. “We actually made an album. I don’t know how it happened. It’ll be out in July.”

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The video also showed Depp shuffling onto the stage as the audience mostly cheered his cameo. He then performed a 27-minute set in which he mumbled through covers of Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye, among others.

Depp is no stranger to music. Prior to his breakout role in 1987’s “21 Jump Street” TV series, the former “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor played rhythm guitar for rock band Rock City Angels from 1986 to 1987.

He has been a featured musician in songs by Oasis, Aerosmith, Iggy Pop and Marilyn Manson. And in 2015, Depp co-founded the supergroup Hollywood Vampires alongside Alice Cooper and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.

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Beck didn’t give any specific details about the album, including a release date. But it won’t be Depp and Beck’s first collaboration. In 2020, the duo recorded and released a cover of John Lennon’s 1970 song “Isolation,” with Depp on vocals.

Their new album will mark the beginning of what Depp called “a new chapter” in a statement he posted to his 23.5 million Instagram followers almost immediately after the court ruled in his favor.

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In that same post he expressed his appreciation for the judicial process and his supporters.

“Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people, who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed,” Depp wrote. “ And six years later, the jury gave me my life back.”

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In his Wednesday post, Depp also mentioned he was “overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world.”

He expressed hope that his “quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation” and that “the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media.”

Heard also issued a statement after the verdict was read Wednesday, awarding her $2 million in her defamation countersuit, striking a more somber note.

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“I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband,” read her statement, which she shared on social media.

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“I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.”

On Thursday, Heard’s lawyer announced that Heard will appeal the verdict and said her client “absolutely” would not be able to pay Depp the $10.4 million he was awarded.

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