Since winning his libel case against ex-wife Amber Heard, Johnny Depp has hit the road, ostensibly to tour with 77-year-old musician friend Jeff Beck but also possibly to rub salt in the $15 million wound with a UK-wide victory lap.
I’m not usually one for conspiracy theories but why else would Depp — international mega star, ex-boyfriend of Kate Moss — cavort with badgers in Kent, eat £50,000 worth of Indian food in Birmingham and dispense parenting advice to a Geordie bar manager other than to refuel the social media fire which has laid waste his ex-wife’s life?
It started in Sheffield when Depp appeared on stage with Beck, much to the excitement of Beck’s fans, and basically everyone on social media. Little is known about what happened after the show, but they presumably tore up Division Street in time-honoured Sheffield style.
The next day it was on to Newcastle, and pints with 28-year-old musician Sam Fender. Fender met Depp and Beck (Bepp? Deck?) in The Bridge Tavern (an “unfussy brewpub serving artisan ales” according to Google), for drinks in the beer garden as they waited for the trial verdict to come in.
A few minutes after it was announced that Depp had won, Fender posted a photo branding Bepp/Deck “heroes”. It was eventually taken down and an apology was issued. As many Fender fans pointed out, whatever a Virginia jury might have decided, a UK judge still found it to be “substantially true” that Depp was a “wife beater”.
While in Newcastle — and proving that he gave literally no effs at having just won $15 million from his beleaguered ex-wife — Johnny took the time to dispense “advice on nappies, lack of sleep, and the first few weeks of parenthood” to The Bridge Tavern’s pregnant bar manager Lauren. “[You] won’t know love like it until [you] look into her eyes for the first time,” Depp reportedly told Lauren, before posing for a picture with his hand on her bump.
The nadir of the post-libel UK victory lap came during a stopover at a Kent wildlife sanctuary. Depp was pictured canoodling a badger cub like a corrupt politician kissing a baby. The cub is reportedly called Freddie Mercury.
From Kent it was on to Birmingham, where Bepp/Deck stopped in at Varanasi Indian restaurant. According to the manager, Depp spent £50,000 and took a doggy bag (it’s presumably quite difficult to eat £50,000 of Indian food in one sitting).
Yesterday Depp seemed to complete this cycle of randomness by joining TikTok. This might imply that the victory lap is part of a ploy to rehabilitate his image among younger audiences. If there’s anything that’ll take a person from “menacing drug toad” to “funny old man” as expediently as cuddling a baby badger I have yet to see it.
Meanwhile the victory lap continues: Johnny Depp, coming to a Chicken Cottage near you soon.