Johnny Depp spent Memorial Day weekend in the United Kingdom playing shows with his friend and legendary guitarist, Jeff Beck.
Videos of Depp performing on stage with Beck at Sheffield City Hall appeared on social media Sunday and Monday. Depp also performed with Beck at Royal Albert Hall Monday evening as deliberations were set to resume in his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard Tuesday morning.
Beck has described himself and Depp as “musical soulmates” on his website. They recorded a cover of “Isolation” by John Lennon in 2019 and released it in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beck, 77, has twice been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
“Jeff Beck and I recorded this song Isolation last year, as our take on a beautiful John Lennon tune. Lennon’s poetry – ‘We’re afraid of everyone. Afraid of the Sun!’ – seemed to Jeff and me especially profound right now, this song about isolation, fear, and existential risks to our world. So we wanted to give it to you, and hope it helps you make sense of the moment or just helps you pass the time as we endure isolation together,” Depp wrote in 2020.
Beck’s website includes a message in which he stated he and Depp were collaborating on other music, too.
The performances by Depp came as a jury of five men and two women went home Friday night following two hours of deliberation without reaching a verdict in the defamation trial. Two jurors have been told to remain available in case they are needed.
It’s not clear whether Depp will return to Fairfax, Virginia for the verdict, which could come as early as Tuesday. The jurors must decide whether Heard defamed Depp in December 2018 when she wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post, in which she claimed two years prior, she had become “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Though the op-ed did not name Depp, he has argued Heard clearly had been referring to him. Two years prior, Heard was granted a domestic violence restraining order against Depp when she claimed in court documents that he had hit her during their marriage. The headline of the online version of the op-ed declared: “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”
Heard then tweeted the op-ed with a comment. Depp has claimed that he was actually the victim of domestic abuse at the hands of Heard. The 58-year-old actor has said the op-ed came at the height of the #MeToo movement and that it cost him major film roles. Heard’s team has claimed in court that his career was already on the downward slide and that it was not impacted by the op-ed.
The general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, Terence Dougherty, testified via video deposition that it was clear to him from reviewing early drafts of the op-ed that it was written about Depp. The ACLU helped pitch the op-ed and had named Heard an ambassador. While Heard testified in her case-in-chief that the op-ed was not about Depp, she later said during her rebuttal testimony that she wrote it because Depp was receiving so much support despite her claims.
Heard alleged in her counterclaim that Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, defamed her when he told the Daily Mail in 2020 that her abuse claims were a “hoax.”
As for Depp’s performances this weekend in the U.K., a supporter and friend of Heard’s, Eve Barlow, lashed out at Depp on Twitter because he was playing the concerts.
“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,” Barlow wrote. She added, “Meanwhile Amber Heard doesn’t have PTSD… Wake up. #IStandWithAmberHeard.”
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
Judge Penney Azcarate banned Barlow from the courtroom for the remainder of the trial after it was revealed she had been tweeting from the courtroom in violation of a court order. Barlow had also passed incorrect information about Gina Deuters, a friend of Depp’s, to Heard’s lawyers during her testimony which led to Deuters being excused and her testimony stricken from the record. While Depp’s lawyers said Deuters’ exclusion from the trial was proper, a transcript of a hearing revealed that Barlow misrepresented Deuters’ Instagram post describing the U.K. trial as a post about the current trial. Barlow never responded to a tweet requesting comment on the situation.
Deuters posted on her Instagram story Monday, “seeking solace in music, where your heart lies, where it finds comfort, is actually quite understandable… especially after seven grueling weeks of having to relive the hell you’ve endured.”
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Depp described music and playing guitar during his testimony as a refuge from the emotional and physical abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother, Betty Sue. He described stealing a guitar book from a store and listening to records over and over in his bedroom in an effort to learn the chords. He testified that he moved to Los Angeles to play music but became interested in acting at the urging of actor Nicolas Cage. The rest is quite literally Hollywood history.
Deliberations resume Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. The Law&Crime Network will air live coverage on YouTube beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
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(Photo by JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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