As the case went to the jury, several hundred onlookers lined the sidewalk across from the rear of the courthouse, eager for a glimpse of Johnny Depp as he departed. There were assorted people decked out as Depp-style pirates and at least two women dressed up as mermaids.
“Back it up! Watch your fins!” a cop yelled at the women just before Depp left in the back of a black SUV, his waves from the back seat inducing a mix of cheers and whoops.
“Oh my God, that was amazing!” a woman gasped after Depp passed.
Jack Lovera, 19, had arrived early in the morning, eager to lend his vocal support to Depp.
“Egg that man!” Lovera shouted in the direction of a man who held a sign that read, “I stand with Amber.” By all appearances, the man was among the few Heard supporters.
“Johnny is innocent,” Lovera said, brushing aside all of Heard’s claims with a sweep of his hand. “Johnny is the victim here. Amber Heard is faking it.”
Evan Torres, standing a few feet away, said he drove from Atlanta to stand outside dressed as Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” complete with a sword, musket and what he described as a “prosthetic” goatee.
Torres, 24, a fledgling actor who works at a bookstore, said he has no doubts about Depp’s character, at least none that he would admit to. Referring to Heard, he said, “I can’t trust her as far as I could throw her. I could be wrong but I’m hoping I’m not.”
“I had to support Johnny,” he said. “As an actor, he’s my biggest inspiration. As a human, he seems very genuine.”
Dan Kim, 26, who lives in Loudoun County and who was the one holding the sign supporting Heard, said he is convinced Depp “committed domestic violence.” He said he felt compelled to show up with his sign to focus attention on an issue “that isn’t talked about enough.”
“I want every voice heard,” he said. “I support Amber Heard one hundred percent. She is a survivor.”
Moments later, the crowd erupted in another chant of “John-ny! John-ny!”