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Fans spent $30K to get into the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial


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Some onlookers present in the courtroom during the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial have gone to great lengths to secure a front-row seat.

Fans told People magazine they camped out in their cars outside the Fairfax, Virginia courthouse and even spent up to $30,000 on travel expenses to wait to get in.

Hordes of eager enthusiasts revealed they arrive in the wee hours of the morning to secure wristbands that grant access into the courtroom each day to watch the A-listers’ testimonies.

“I’ve never been to a public trial before. I’ve never stayed up overnight for anything in line, and I came at 12:45 a.m.,” Sabrina Harrison of Madison, Wisconsin told People. “I’ve never done something like this in my 46 years of life.”

Sharon Smith, 52, told People she crossed the ocean to see the trial. Fresh out of a 12-year relationship in Britain, Smith packed her things into a storage unit and flew to Virginia when the trials first started in April. During breaks, she travels to Los Angeles, then comes back when it resumes.

“I’ve been coming back and forth from L.A. so you’re looking at $600 to $700 each time, 10 hours of your life in the air,” she said. “Hotel, food, drinks [cost] about $10,000.”

Smith arrives at the courthouse at 1 a.m. every day to land a front-row seat to the high-profile defamation trial. One morning, in particular, she got soaked in a rainstorm. When asked if she was there for Depp or Heard, she replied: “I’m getting wet for Johnny.”

spectators in courtroom
Depp is suing Heard for defamation after she wrote a 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post describing herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

“I don’t know. It came in my head and then out my mouth,” she told People.

Currently, the courtroom is her home – at least for now. After the trial ends, Smith isn’t so sure where she’ll end up.

“I’m sort of in between Liverpool, London and Leeds,” she said, adding that her family thinks she’s having a “midlife crisis.”

“I’m having fun,” she said. “People keep saying, ‘Are you okay? Are you really okay?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m fine.’”

Ivan De Boer, 59, used a year’s worth of paid vacation time to travel from Los Angeles to the trial, spending $30,000 on her expenses so far.

People wait outside courthouse
Fans flew from around the country and world to see the trials in person.
The Washington Post via Getty Im

“I took my whole year’s vacation so I could be here for Johnny,” she said. “I’m the same age as Johnny. I’m single, so I do what I want to, basically.”

Despite dropping all that cash, she has “no regrets.”

“I’d regret it more if I wasn’t here,” she said.

Emily, a 26-year-old from Arlington, Virginia, joined the sea of supporters bright and early on May 4 at 2 a.m. to ensure she was one of the first 100 people in line.

“My friends think I’m insane for doing it but I think it’s a historic trial and I think it’s really interesting that it’s taking place in Northern Virginia,” she said. “Someone got here last night [at 9 p.m.] to get the first spot.”

People slept in their cars to save money while simultaneously getting the best spot in line.

“It is not totally convenient to be in Virginia for most of the week, every week, but I was sleeping in my car when I came here,” said 33-year-old Jarva from Brooklyn, New York. “And since then, I’ve been staying at the Ritz with my friends. I stayed in my other friend’s apartment, and I’ll stay in my car if I need to. It’s worth it.”

spectators in courtroom
Some people even slept in their cars or dropped thousands of dollars on expenses just to be at the trial.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Metha, a 40-year-old doctor from Fairfax, said she made it to the trial five times in person, making special arrangements that made her presence possible.

“I came and stood in line today at 4 a.m. Picked up my mother-in-law so she can sleep with the kids; they’re 4 and 6. Stood in line, got my pass, then went back home at 7:30 a.m. Got them ready for school, dropped them off, came back. And then I’ve been working extra shifts so I can take days off to come here,” she told People.

Like Smith, Metha’s family thinks she’s “nuts,” especially after asking her husband to spend their 10-year wedding anniversary at the trials by joining her.

“I told him, ‘As part of our present, can you come with me?’ And he’s like, ‘Hell no,’ ” she said, despite the fact, her husband “loves Johnny Depp.” “He just doesn’t understand people getting up in the middle of the night, standing in line to come and see him. But it’s exhilarating seeing this in person.”

Jennifer, a 43-year-old from Rome, New York, waited in line at 1 a.m. to enter the courtroom, admitting to People that her shopping spree for perfect outfits cost her $2,200.

“As a person who has been through domestic violence herself, it just needed to be something that we did. I’ve been here since the start of the trial,” she said. “I’m self-employed, so it was very flexible.”

Depp is currently suing Heard, 36, for defamation to the tune of $50 million after she penned a 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post dubbing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” While Depp wasn’t named, he claims Heard decimated his reputation and career and cost him millions of dollars in work.

The trial is currently in a recess until May 16, when the testimony will resume at 9:30 a.m.

Source: Page Six

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