'Down to Earth' | 

Newcastle pub staff describe meeting 'lovely' Johnny Depp after trial verdict

The Pirates of the Caribbean star was awarded $15m (€14m) by a court in Virginia on Wednesday

Depp enjoyed some fish and chips at the Bridge Tavern in Newcastle before the verdict was announced

Neasa Cumiskey

Johnny Depp has been described as “lovely” and “down to earth” by staff at the pub where he celebrated the verdict of his multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star was awarded $15m (€14m) by a court in Virginia on Wednesday while Heard won $2m (€1.8m) in her countersuit.

Heard attended the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia on Wednesday to hear the decision, which came after three days of deliberations, but Depp wasn't present as he was already across the pond in the UK.

The 58-year-old was spotted enjoying some fish and chips at the Bridge Tavern in Newcastle, where he was joined by musicians Sam Fender and Jeff Beck.

He is expected to make an appearance on stage with Beck during his show at The Sage in Gateshead on Thursday.

Pub manager Janine Latchford opened up about having Depp as a customer, describing the ordeal as “surreal.”

“He was with some friends but he was quite cool. He didn’t want anyone to see who he was,” she told Chronicle Live.

Depp with Sam Fender, Jeff Beck, and friends

“He was the loveliest man I have ever seen in my life.

"My assistant is heavily pregnant and he was telling her how beautiful being a parent was. He was really down to earth, he was lovely.

“He was incredible. He gave me a hug and I told him that I loved him pretty much as soon as I saw him.”

Continuing, she added: “It was unbelievable for the pub, I have never seen anything like it before.

“It has been the most surreal day of my life without doubt! It’s insane.”

An excited punter, who chose to remain anonymous, said the Hollywood star was “smiling” and enjoying himself in the pub.

The woman said: “He was here enjoying a soft drink. Sam Fender was chilling with him. I felt sheer excitement, it’s Johnny Depp in Newcastle! He wasn’t disguising himself, he was just smiling.”

And North Shields rugby star Gary Spedding caught Depp just as he was about to leave the venue.

“I said hello, shook his hand and said ‘good luck’,” he said.

“He took the time to acknowledge me and look at me even though his security wanted him out of there. He was very gracious and his manner was quite calm. He seemed quite humble and straightforward.

“He couldn’t stop for a photograph because his security were worried about him getting mobbed so he was straight out, more or less.

“He seemed to be relaxed and relatively happy. There were people saying hello to him and wishing him well.”

Depp sued Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”

His lawyers said he was defamed by the article although it never mentioned his name.

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