Johnny Depp charms staff at pub before Amber Heard verdict

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Johnny Depp charms staff at pub before Amber Heard verdict

The manager of the UK pub where Johnny Depp was spotted spending the tense final hours before the verdict in his sensational Amber Heard defamation trial said he “was the loveliest man I have ever seen in my life.”

Janine Latchford, general manager of The Bridge Tavern in Newcastle, gushed to Chronicle Live about her brush with the Hollywood celebrity.

“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,” Latchford said.

The 58-year-old actor was in the northern British university city Wednesday night, when a Virginia jury found that his ex-wife defamed him as an abuser in an op-ed, and awarded him more than $10 million in damages.

Workers and patrons at the Newcastle pub were agog when the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star arrived at the establishment to have dinner with friends at around 5 p.m. local time – less than five hours before the verdict was announced at Fairfax County Circuit Court.

Janine Latchford, general manager of The Bridge Tavern in Newcastle with Johnny Depp
Janine Latchford, general manager of The Bridge Tavern in Newcastle, gushed that Johnny Depp was the “loveliest” person.
Instagram / Janine Latchford
The 58-year-old actor was in the northern British university city Wednesday night, when a Virginia jury found that his ex-wife defamed him as an abuser in an op-ed.
The 58-year-old actor was in the northern British university city Wednesday night, when a Virginia jury found that his ex-wife defamed him as an abuser in an op-ed.
The Bridge Tavern

“Johnny came in first, he was with some friends but he was quite cool,” Latchford, the 33-year-old pub manager, told the local paper. “He didn’t want anyone to see who he was.”

The staffer revealed that Depp — sporting a checkered jacket, a ballcap and a pair of dark sunglasses — was initially given a corner table, where he enjoyed a traditional meal of fish and chips, and said “the food was amazing.”

Latchford later set aside a private room upstairs for the A-lister, where he was joined 30 minutes later by Sam Fender, the lead singer of the local band Seventeen Going Under.

Johnny Depp at The Bridge Tavern in Newcastle.
Johnny Depp at The Bridge Tavern in Newcastle.
Angie Jenkinson
Johnny Depp greets fans.
Johnny Depp greets fans.
Gary Spedding /Zash/TMX/Mega

“He was incredible,” the overwhelmed manager said of the “Edward Scissorhands” lead. “He gave me a hug and I told him that I loved him pretty much as soon as I saw him!”

Latchford recalled that Depp loved the artwork at the tavern, asked questions about the historic Tyne Bridge, and confided in her that he had never been to Newcastle before.

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

Sam Fender performs on stage during Radio 1's Big Weekend 2022 at War Memorial Park on May 28, 2022.
Sam Fender performs on stage during Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2022 at War Memorial Park on May 28, 2022.
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
Supporters of actor Johnny Depp react as the verdict is announced in Depp's libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard.
Supporters of actor Johnny Depp react as the verdict is announced in Depp’s libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard.
AP Photo/Craig Hudson

Depp jetted off to the UK after closing arguments wrapped in his bombshell $50 million defamation trial last week.

As jurors deliberated, the actor and musician joined his rock guitarist friend Jeff Beck on stage at three of his performances in the UK earlier this week, drawing cheers from overjoyed audience members.

Depp’s ex-girlfriend Kate Moss, who testified in his defense during the trial, attended Tuesday’s performance at Royal Albert Hall in London and spent time backstage.

Amber Heard departs from the Fairfax County Courthouse following the verdicts in her trial against Johnny Depp.
Amber Heard departs from the Fairfax County Courthouse following the verdicts in her trial against Johnny Depp.
Rod Lamkey – CNP / MEGA
Actor Amber Heard hugs her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft after the verdict was read at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse.
Actor Amber Heard hugs her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft after the verdict was read at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse.
Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP
Johnny Depp's attorney Camille Vasquez smiles after the verdict was read at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse.
Johnny Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez smiles after the verdict was read at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse.
Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP

Depp is set to play another show with Beck, 77, at a venue in Newcastle Thursday night.

Depp won all three counts of his defamation lawsuit against Heard and and was awarded a total of $10.35 million in compensatory and punitive damages. His ex-wife won one of her three countersuit claims, and was awarded $2 million in damages.

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