Curry generous | 

Johnny Depp leaves ‘large tip’ after booking out Birmingham curry house

The actor has been making surprise on-stage appearances in the UK with musician Jeff Beck.

Johnny Depp (third left), with Jeff Beck (right) and members of staff at Birmingham curry house Varanasi. (Mo Hussain/Varanasi)

Richard Vernalls, PA

Hollywood actor Johnny Depp left a “large tip” after booking out a Birmingham curry house as he continues a series of surprise appearances alongside Jeff Beck.

The 58-year-old dined out at Varanasi in the city’s Broad Street but he has also been seen in Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield in recent weeks.

The appearances follow the Pirates of the Caribbean actor’s defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard which came to a close in the United States last week.

Johnny Depp with a member of staff at the Varanasi restaurant, in Birmingham. (Mo Hussain/Varanasi)

A jury found Ms Heard’s 2018 article in the Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse to be defamatory and awarded $10.35million (£8.2 million) in damages to Mr Depp.

Ms Heard won on one count of her counter-suit, successfully arguing Depp’s press agent defamed her by claiming her allegations were “an abuse hoax” aimed at capitalising on the #MeToo movement.

The jury awarded her $2 million (£1.5 million) in damages.

The actor was not in court for the jury findings on Wednesday, and has instead been touring with musician Jeff Beck appearing at a host of UK dates.

...they never even looked at the bill.

Restaurant director

Mr Beck is playing a concert at Symphony Hall in Birmingham on Monday night – and it is widely thought the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas star will once again be appearing on stage.

Mo Hussain, operations director at Varanasi, told the PA news agency Depp’s security team had called to ask if they could take a look around the venue on Sunday afternoon, before booking the entire 300-cover restaurant out that evening.

Mr Depp and Mr Beck then arrived with about two dozen members of their tour crew, from 7.30pm, enjoying a three-course dinner of chicken tikka shashlik, vegetable samosas and a king prawn starter.

Mr Hussain said once Mr Depp had finished he spent time “hugging, kissing and having photos taken” with members of staff, and friends and family members of the restaurant bosses.

“He was very humble, and he stayed to talk and greet everyone,” added Mr Hussain.

“He met my three daughters and they made him give them a few one-liners from his movies.

Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp. (Mo Hussain/Varanasi)

“He did ‘you’re weird’ from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Mr Hussain added: “He was really good with the children, but there was about 60 of us there and he didn’t leave one person without hugging or kissing them, or shaking their hands.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment, really.

“Some of the staff were asking about the recent court case, but he was just smiling – it was a smile of relief.”

Mr Hussain said: “They spent a lot of money, it’s a big venue to hire out, but they never even looked at the bill.

“He gave a large tip.”

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