Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck announce the release of their new album WGAU

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial: What you need to know Depp sued Heard for defamation over an article she wrote in the Washington Post in 2018. (NCD)

Actor Johnny Depp has decided to return to work after winning the defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard.

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Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck announced during a concert Thursday in Gateshead, England, that he and Depp, 58, will be releasing a new album next month, Variety reported.

Depp joined Beck during a six-song set at the concert, bowing to the crowd during the guitarist’s announcement, the entertainment website reported.

The announcement came a day after Depp was awarded damages totaling $15 million when a jury in Fairfax, Virginia, found Heard responsible for making a defamatory statement in a 2018 opinion piece she wrote for the Washington Post would have. The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the punitive damages to Virginia’s statutory cap of $350,000, making the final total of $10,350,000.

The jury also ruled in favor of a counterclaim by Heard after Depp’s attorney called her abuse allegations a hoax and awarded her $2 million in damages. Heard is also appealing the decision.

Depp didn’t mention his legal battle during Thursday’s concert, Deadline reported.

>> Johnny Depp, Amber Heard defamation lawsuit: Jury finds Heard and Depp both liable

“I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you that I met this guy five years ago and we’ve never stopped laughing since,” Beck told the crowd about Depp (via Stereogum), Entertainment Weekly reported. “We actually made an album. I don’t know how it happened. It will be out in July.”

The set Depp and Beck played Thursday reportedly included covers of songs by Dennis Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix and Killing Joke, according to Variety.

Depp has appeared on stage with Beck several times over the past week as he awaits the verdict in the defamation case. He performed with Beck in Sheffield on Sunday and played guitar on three songs, Rolling Stone reported. Depp, who formed the Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry in 2012, played guitar on John Lennon’s “Isolation,” a song Depp and Beck covered together in 2020, according to the magazine.

Beck is scheduled to play in Manchester on Saturday, followed by concerts in Birmingham on Monday and York on Tuesday, Variety reported. It’s unclear if Depp will be performing at these events, the entertainment website reported.

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