While Cockburn is loath to be anywhere that does not serve brandy, he made an exception for the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard verdict, which was handed down in Fairfax, Virginia, on Wednesday. On a sunny, hot, sweltering afternoon, Cockburn took a bus from his hometown of Washington, DC. Cue the driver furiously shaking him awake and kicking him to the curb, right in front of the courthouse.
Since it was only 1 p.m., there was little to see aside from the various news crews circling the entrance like vultures. As much as Cockburn was hoping for something...

While Cockburn is loath to be anywhere that does not serve brandy, he made an exception for the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard verdict, which was handed down in Fairfax, Virginia, on Wednesday. On a sunny, hot, sweltering afternoon, Cockburn took a bus from his hometown of Washington, DC. Cue the driver furiously shaking him awake and kicking him to the curb, right in front of the courthouse.

Since it was only 1 p.m., there was little to see aside from the various news crews circling the entrance like vultures. As much as Cockburn was hoping for something out of a Hunter S. Thompson article, what he got was more like a city council meeting.

At around 1:30, news broke that a verdict had been reached, and that it would be announced at 3. At that point, the crowd began growing. This growth was gradual at first, but it was not long until fifty-odd fans had shown up outside the doors, captivated by the anticipation. Cockburn even managed to score an interview with one of the court watchers before the verdict was announced.

“I’m not a huge fan of Johnny Depp,” said Sue Williams, a fifty-nine-year-old woman who works in the legal field. “My kids like him.” Williams wore a large sunflower hat and smiled widely as she spoke, her eyes shrouded by thick sunglasses. “[Depp] lost a lot…a whole lot more because he’s a private person. Who would put themselves through that?” She said further that she had been spending about two hours a day keeping up with the trial and had come to see what would happen. Williams felt bad for Depp whether he won or not.

Later, Cockburn was able to wander up by the gate, where he had a generous view of the venue. The crowds had formed around a red carpet, fit for the celebrities (or the celebrity-adjacent) who would be walking upon them. While most of the crowd was on Johnny’s side, there were no cheers yet, just anxious anticipation.

Cockburn managed to find the lone woman who was holding a banner in support of Amber Heard. She had a rainbow-colored handkerchief around her neck and tattoos up her sleeves. Her name was Sydni Porter, a thirty-year-old working in disability services. Although she knew of the case, she had not exactly followed what had gone on during the trial.

When asked why she supported Heard over Depp, Porter replied, “Amber’s story was consistent… and she made the accusations before the divorce.” She mentioned that some of the negativity surrounding Heard was thanks to the “crazy woman stereotype,” and that while she did support men who had been sexually abused, she said this trial had been forced into being a men’s abuse case. “I don’t think, in this situation, it counts,” she declared.

Soon, the verdict was announced. Depp won the case overall, awarded $15 million to Heard’s just $2 million, and the crowd broke into cheers. Cockburn soon weaseled his way past the cameras to get a glimpse of Depp’s lawyer, Ben Chew.

“We are so pleased that the trial has resonated with so many people, and the public who value truth and justice,” Chew said. “Now the jury has reached its conclusive verdict. It’s time to turn the page and look into the future.”

After this, Amber Heard came out, and was promptly mobbed until she looked like the eye of a hurricane. Although Cockburn never got a good look at her, her car did honk when it drove away, which resulted in many more cheers.

After the excitement had subsided, Brandi Edinger, a forty-two-year-old pastry chef in a tank top and a specialized golden-hoop necklace, expressed that she was happy for Johnny. “The #MeToo movement was very serious, but it lost its value,” she said. “Not everybody was truthful.” She added, “Depp did great things for men by coming forward… Even if Depp did lose, he won in everyone else’s eyes.”

By the time Cockburn left the trial site, the lawn was awash in interviews. By that point, though, the excitement had subsided. Johnny Depp was an even richer man, and Amber Heard’s legal team had really shat the bed.