- Johnny Depp took over an entire UK restaurant on Sunday with a lavish dinner for his entourage.
- The manager told Insider that there was “a lot of money involved” and that Depp left a big tip.
- The visit adds a victory lap for Depp as he travels with Jeff Beck following his libel case.
Johnny Depp took over an entire Indian restaurant in the UK as part of his tour with Jeff Beck, ordering champagne and cocktails and tipping generously, officials told Insider.
The actor had recently won his years-old libel suit, in which a jury found that his ex-wife Amber Heard defamed him.
The jury in the case, in which bitter accusations of domestic abuse were exchanged, also found that Heard was defamed by Depp’s lawyer. Heard’s lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, said she plans to appeal.
As the trial progressed, Depp began to participate in a European tour with Beck.
On Sunday, he chose to feed Beck’s touring team at Varanasi, an Indian restaurant in the English city of Birmingham, according to the restaurant’s operations manager. Depp and Beck were performing in Birmingham the next night.
Mo Hussain told Insider that Depp booked the entire 300-seat venue, inviting about two dozen tour crew members to eat there after his security personnel visited the venue.
“Obviously we were shocked and a little perplexed that they decided to come here,” Hussain said.
The group stayed for about five hours and ordered a set menu of chicken tikka shashlik, vegetable samosas and a shrimp entree, he said. Depp, Hussain said, told him it was “the best curry he’s ever had.”
Afterwards, “he ordered another batch and had us put it in a bag and take it back to his hotel room,” Hussain said.
The group had “expensive bottles of wine and expensive champagne” as well as cocktails, Hussain said.
While Beck was quiet, talking mostly to his staff, Depp got the attention of the staff, Hussain and his family and spent 20 minutes listening to how the restaurant was run in Hussain’s office, he said — including exchanging “jokes.”
“He was very kind,” Hussain said. He called the group “very friendly people”.
“They’re just ordinary people. They know how to talk to you on the same level,” he said. “It’s not like they were, you know, they left us out of any conversation. They kept us involved in everything.”
Hussain said he wasn’t allowed to say how much Depp spent, adding, “There’s a lot of money involved in that that was spent overnight.”
A set menu at the restaurant ranges from £50 to £80, or about $63 to $100, per head, Hussain told Insider. Local channel Birmingham Live estimated that Depp spent around £50,000.
Depp took the time to get to know all of Hussain’s immediate family and cracked a few jokes for his kids, Hussain said. “He spoke to all of them,” he said. “He sat with them, played with them. He hugged and kissed them.
“It was a surreal experience for all of us.”
The tour with Beck is seen by fans as a victory lap for Depp, who experts say is unlikely to have his career derailed by the verdict, Insider’s Lauren Frias reported.
But he made no public comment about the trial other than an Instagram post immediately afterwards in which he thanked the jury and said he felt a burden had been lightened.
In Varanasi, when asked about the trial, “he just smiled at the comments,” Hussain said, adding: “It’s probably a huge relief to take something like that off his shoulders.”
During Beck’s tour, he played in the northern England town of Gateshead on Thursday. He also performed on Wednesday, the day of the verdict, instead of being present in court.
Depp lost a similar case in the UK, where the judge ruled that the allegations against Depp of domestic abuse were true.