Have YOU seen Johnny Depp in Newcastle?
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Johnny Depp was seen in a Newcastle pub this evening, just hours before the verdict in his high profile defamation case with ex Amber Heard was due to be delivered.
A jury in the United States later awarded Depp more than $10 million on Wednesday, vindicating his stance that Heard fabricated claims that she was abused by the Hollywood superstar before and during their brief marriage.
The conclusion to the high-profile, months-long trial – along with the injection of cash and widespread support of social media – will likely leave Depp in a celebratory mood as he enjoys a night out on Tyneside.
It comes after he spent three nights performing with guitarist Jeff Beck in the UK, as some fans complained they ‘didn’t come to see’ the actor perform.
Reports said that Depp was sighted in Newcastle’s Jam Jar bar late on Wednesday night. Before the verdict was announced, he was seen at the The Bridge Tavern on Newcastle’s Quayside, walking through the pub’s beer garden and smiling at punters, and shaking some of their hands.
He was spotted wearing blue sunglasses and a cap, with a brown jacket and green trousers. A punter can be heard shouting ‘love you Johnny’. He was later seen in a video posted to Instagram – in the same outfit – signing a statement.
‘Met Johnny Depp in Bridge Tavern Newcastle just now… that was quite surreal,’ one Twitter user wrote, attaching a photo of Depp walking down some stairs at the pub.
‘For anyone interested… Johnny Depp and Sam Fender (have) just been seen in The Bridge Tavern pub on Newcastle Quayside,’ another said, paired with a video that showed Depp waving and shaking hands of fans as he exits the pub’s garden.
Speaking to Chronicle Live on Wednesday night, the manager of The Bridge Tavern said Depp was ‘incredible,’ and was at first given a private space in the establishment when he arrived at around 5pm – three hours before the verdict was announced.
‘He was the loveliest man I have ever seen in my life,’ Janine Latchford told the newspaper. ‘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! He loved the art work and he was asking questions about the Tyne Bridge. He said he’d never been to Newcastle before.’
He had fish and chips for dinner, she added. Another punter said he had a soft drink.
He was spotted wearing blue sunglasses and a cap, with a brown jacket and green trousers. A punter can be heard shouting ‘love you Johnny’
The actor as seen at the The Bridge Tavern on Newcastle’s Quayside, walking through the pub’s beer garden and smiling at punters
He turned back towards the camera and waved at the man recording from the pub’s garden
This evening, Depp was seen at the The Bridge Tavern on Newcastle’s Quayside
Pictured: Depp is seen posing with a group of women in a pub in Newscastle in a photo posted on Instagram. The poster wrote: ‘Johnny Depp is in my dad’s pub and so is San Fender’ along with a series of crying emojis
Depp, third from the left, saw seen drinking with Sam Fender, fourth from left, and guitarist Jeff Beck, second from left
Earlier today, he was seen leaving the 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel London, where suites cost up to £2,390 a night, as his bags were loaded into a van.
One person was seen handing Depp two pirate hats outside the hotel – prompting the actor to smile widely.
Depp joined Beck at the Royal Albert Hall in west London on Monday and Tuesday night after surprising fans with an appearance at Sheffield City Hall on Sunday.
There are rumours Depp will continue on Beck’s UK tour, which includes gigs at Gateshead, Manchester, York and Glasgow – but those reports have not yet been confirmed.
Depp reportedly watched the conclusion to the trial via video link in the UK.
In a statement after Wednesday’s verdict, Depp said, ‘Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed.
‘And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.’
After less than three days of deliberation, Heard was awarded $2million in compensatory damages out of the $100million she was seeking in her countersuit against her ex-husband. She was awarded zero dollars in punitive damages.
Buoyed by fevered support on social media and in the courtroom, Depp believes he now has a ‘golden opportunity’ to press reset on his career.
Later this year he plans to release an album with Beck, 77, written by the two men at Beck’s home in Sussex where Depp has been spending months at a time. He will also start making art house films.
Depp has stayed largely silent since the verdict in the UK court, but told journalist Jason Solomons: ‘This is the golden opportunity to do exactly what I’ve wanted to do for years, which is make the films or the cinema that I want, to stay away from limitations, not allow for any unintended fingers to get into the pie, which is to say, do films that don’t need to be $300million films.’
Depp’s new career will see him starting from almost zero financially. In court in the UK in 2020, it was revealed that he had earned up to £400million across his career. It was apparently spent on property, drugs, drink and whims such as firing the ashes of his hero, the writer Hunter S Thompson into space, which cost him £4million.
Post-disgrace, his bohemian persona – he presents himself as a high-living carefree wastrel – was unchanged. He now hopes to pick up the threads of his film career, which hit the buffers after he lost his London libel action and agreed to withdraw from the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
Johnny Depp signs a statement after the verdict was announced on Wednesday evening
It comes as Depp was spotted leaving a hotel in London on Wednesday morning, with a person seen handing him what appeared to be a pirate hat
Depp was pictured leaving the 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel London, where suites cost up to £2,390 a night, on Wednesday. It is not clear whether Depp is staying there during his visit to London
Despite the jury awarding Depp $15million, the judge reduced the $5million punitive damages award to the Virginia maximum of $350,000, reducing Depp’s total to $10,350,000 – minus the $2million he was ordered to pay Heard. In total Depp walks away with $8.35million in damages
While her ex-husband was in the UK, Heard walked into court wearing a black dress and appeared anxious. After the verdict was read out Heard briefly hugged her lawyers then exited the courtroom.
Depp’s legal team were all smiles and joined each other in a group hug of 10 people.
In a dramatic courtroom moment, the jury returned with their verdict only to be told by the judge that they hadn’t completed the paperwork properly.
The judge was handed an envelope by an officer of the court and asked the lawyers to approach for a brief discussion. Left alone, Heard looked down at the floor, lost in thought before her lawyers came back to her.
Judge Azcarate addressed the jury and said: ‘I need to give the forms back to you. When you find for a defamatory statement, one or more, you need to fill out the compensatory damages. It needs to be at least a dollar up to whatever the damages are. For punitive damages you can put a zero. I need those lines filled out. Retire back to the deliberation room and do that for me.’
The jury left as the judge told everyone not to go anywhere far, before they came back to deliver the verdict.
Amber Heard said in a statement after the verdict, ‘The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.
‘I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.’
Jeff Beck’s fans have spoken of their disappointment that he performed alongside Johnny Depp at the Royal Albert Hall in London, with some complaining he ‘took away so much’ from the guitarist they had paid to see
Meanwhile, some of Beck’s fans have spoken of their disappointment that he performed alongside Depp at the Royal Albert Hall in London, complaining he ‘took away so much’ from the guitarist they had paid to see.
Some fans were left disgruntled that the 58-year-old actor had spent so much of the gig performing, with one saying they ‘did not come here to see Depp’.
Music critic Neil McCormick wrote in the Telegraph: ‘[Depp] may not be the greatest vocalist but he knows how to deliver a song,’ adding that ‘Depp’s presence added pizzazz and created a space for Beck to shine more brightly’.
Austin Delord, a Beck fan, said: ‘Too much Johnny Depp, we did not come here to see him. Bit of a publicity stunt, he did not bring much to the party, but he took away so much from Beck.’
Francesca Cox, 23, said: ‘It was cool, unexpected. I preferred what was before.’
Others were left frustrated that Depp was enjoying performing in the UK whilst Heard is ‘hiding from death threats’ in the US.
Dr Charlotte Proudman, a British barrister, tweeted: ‘[Depp’s] on tour, waving to his fans. [Heard’s] hiding from death threats. He seems to be doing pretty well out of it all, don’t you think?’
Another Twitter user tweeted: ‘What a narcissistic act on Depp’s part and what an insensitive move on Beck’s part with reference to abuse survivors in his audience.
‘Really rotten to put a guy embroiled in a domestic abuse trial onstage while the jury’s still deliberating and say, ‘Hey! Here’s a guy accused of spousal abuse!”
Some fans were left disgruntled that the 58-year-old actor had spent so much of the gig performing, with one saying they ‘did not come here to see Depp’
Heard (pictured in court today as the verdict was read), countersued for $100million claiming that Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman made defamatory statements by calling her claims a ‘hoax’
Depp’s lead attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew are seen outside of the courtroom after Depp’s victory
Throngs of reporters and fans are seen crowding around Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew as they speak outside the courthouse after the verdict
Whilst there was some criticism of Depp’s performance, many were excited about his surprise appearance.
The actor waved and blew kisses to the crowd as they gave him a standing ovation and cheered his name after the set on Monday night.
One fan, Angela Flannery, 38, from Southend-on-Sea, a city in southeast England, said of Depp’s appearance on stage: ‘I was pretty shocked. I have always been a massive fan of his.
‘My other half took me to this gig just to see Jeff Beck, I had no idea Johnny would be playing.
‘It was brilliant, such a fantastic night in general… a special mention to the drummer girl, she was absolutely amazing (and) Johnny Depp smashed it.
‘I’ll die happy (that) I’ve been in the same room as him now.’
Main man: Depp (right) at the Royal Albert Hall, London, appearing alongside Jeff Beck on Tuesday night
Centre stage: Depp performed covers of John Lennon , Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix at the venue on Tuesday evening
Make way: Kate Moss was alone as she exited London’s Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday evening, shortly after reuniting with ex-boyfriend Johnny Depp backstage following his cameo performance with rock legend Jeff Beck
Following his Tuesday night performance with Beck, Depp was joined his ex-girlfriend and British model Kate Moss backstage.
Moss was joined inside by former TV personality Sharon Osborne, 69, who arrived for an after-party following the end of the concert.
Depp’s appearance comes as the jury in Virginia is deliberating for a third day in the defamation claims of the actor and his ex-wife Heard.
The seven-person civil jury resumed deliberations Wednesday morning after deliberating for about nine hours over two days.
Depp is suing his ex-wife for $50 million, accusing her of libelling him with a 2018 op-ed she wrote describing herself as ‘a public figure representing domestic abuse.’ Heard filed a $100 million counterclaim against the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star after his lawyer called her allegations a hoax. Each accuses the other of destroying their career.
Testimony during the six-week trial has included lurid details of their short and volatile marriage. Heard testified that Depp physically or sexually assaulted her more than a dozen times. Depp said he never struck Heard, that she concocted the abuse allegations, and that she was the one who physically attacked him, multiple times.
Jurors must decide both claims based on whether or not the statements were made with ‘actual malice,’ meaning they knew what they were saying was false, or were acting with a reckless disregard for the truth.
During closing arguments, both sides told the jury that a verdict in their favour would give their clients their lives back.
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