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.”
“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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.