“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” dares poet Mary Oliver in “The Summer Day.” Johnny Depp, the actor, musician, and now TikTok darling whose legal team just spent an entire defamation trial proving his ex-wife “ruined” his, is now actively belying that notion a little more each day and apparently taking Oliver’s challenge quite seriously.
On Thursday, just a week after a jury concluded that he had indeed been defamed by ex-wife, Amber Heard, Depp announced an upcoming album with longtime pal, Jeff Beck, set for a July 15 release. “It’s an extraordinary honor to play and write music with Jeff, one of the true greats and someone I am now privileged enough to call my brother,” Depp said in a release.
The duo unveiled an official music video for the first single off the new album, titled This is a Song for Miss Hedy Lamarr. On Wednesday, Depp teased the single via his Instagram—one of many platform social platforms that’s seen an awful lot of him since the start of one of the most scrutinized celebrity trials in recent decades. The internet—at its most relentlessly cruel—played an indisputable role in the trial, so much so that a group that tracks online disinformation and harassment estimated at least 340 “inauthentic” Twitter accounts had been created to defame Depp’s ex-wife, and TikTok quickly became a breeding ground for hordes of anti-Heard users. Of course, it should arrive as no surprise that Depp joined that platform in the last week—posting a spliced video compilation of him playing guitar alongside Beck onstage and naturally, the scores of supporters outside of the courthouse, in gratitude.
Even before the verdict was read, Depp received standing ovations at back-to-back gigs—one of which at the famed Royal Albert Hall—while on tour with Beck. It now appears that Depp has joined him for the remainder of the tour’s dates—as one who fancies himself exonerated of any harm tends to do! And as many speculate on a possible Hollywood comeback, fans are now as feral as ever. Depp can’t seem to go anywhere without swarms of people, iPhones poised for photos, following in his wake—including luxury hotels and an Indian eatery where Depp reportedly spent a whopping $62,000 on a celebratory dinner with about 20 friends.
All of this is quite the far cry from the portrait Depp’s lawyers painted in court.
“By choosing to lie about her husband for her own personal benefit, [Heard] forever changed Mr. Depp’s life and reputation. You will hear him tell you the dreadful influence it had on his life,” said his lawyer, Benjamin Chew in opening statements. Heard’s accounts of alleged abuse, he continued, “can cause irreparable harm to someone’s reputation, and when your career depends on your reputation that harm can be particularly devastating.”
If a burgeoning music career, a band of blindly supportive followers and enough money to blow thousands on curry is what an“irreparably harmed” life looks like, well...shit, sign me up.