Johnny Depp fans had travelled from across America and abroad to be outside the Fairfax County Courthouse.
As the verdicts were read out one by one, finding overwhelmingly in favour of Depp, they erupted into cheers. Some were wearing pirate hats, a nod to Depp’s role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, others had made “we love Johnny” signs.
All were united in believing his version of events delivered during the six week trial, over those of Amber Heard.
Not only was he a winner with the jury but also the wider court of public opinion.
While some of his fans had spent significant sums of money to travel to court in support, Depp himself was in Newcastle, preparing to perform alongside rock musician Jeff Beck.
Inside court, as Judge Penney Azcarate read out the jury’s verdicts, Amber Heard looked glum and downtrodden as the court heard she would have to pay her former husband $15m in damages (although this was later downgraded to just over $10m because of legal limits in the state of Virginia).
Heard departed court through a rear entrance, roundly booed by Depp supporters who have been outside court for much of this trial. Depp’s legal team, meanwhile, grinned and embraced each other before heading outside to deliver a statement to banks of waiting media cameras.
Camille Vasquez is one of Depp’s lawyers and has become an internet sensation because of her robust questioning of Heard throughout the trial.
She said the verdict was vindication for her client.
“This confirms what we have said from the beginning,” she said, “that the claims against Johnny Depp are defamatory and unsupported by any evidence.”
Heard did win one of her counterclaims, awarded $2m for defamation after Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman, said Heard and her friends had fabricated her account of a fight with Depp.
Mr Waldman called it “false” and a “hoax”. But it was a minor win amidst a sweeping victory for Depp.