Johnny Depp supposedly has a new romance in his life. The 59-year-old actor is seeing lawyer Joelle Rich, according to Us Weekly. Joelle was part of Depp’s U.K. legal team in his libel case against The Sun but wasn’t part of Johnny’s team when he sued his ex-wife Amber Heard. She was present in the Virginia courtroom to show her support, which Us Weekly notes was unusual because “there was no professional obligation for her being there. It was personal.” The publication also reports that Johnny and Joelle’s chemistry “is off the charts” and that “it’s serious between them. They are the real deal.”
Depp and Rich allegedly “discreetly” met up in hotels during the early stages of their romance, according to Us Weekly. The publication’s source notes that Joelle was married when she first met Johnny but is now in the process of divorcing her estranged husband. The two of them share two children. HollywoodLife has reached out to Depp’s rep for comment on this report.
In 2020, Johnny lost his libel case in the U.K. after he sued The Sun for calling him a “wife beater.” The judge presiding over the case ruled that The Sun had proved the claim to be “substantially true” and that he found 12 of the 14 alleged domestic violence incidents had occurred, according to the BBC. In 2021, Depp lost his bid to overturn the ruling. He had asked the court of appeal to permit him to challenge the ruling, but Lord Justice Underhill and Lord Justice Dingemans “emphasized that an appeal against the trial judge’s decision on questions of disputed fact faced serious difficulties,” per The Guardian.
As to why Depp was successful in his lawsuit against Heard, 36, when he failed in the U.K., George Freeman, the executive director of the Media Law Resource Center, told the Washington Post that “the answer is simple. It was up to the jury.”
During the Heard trial, Depp was romantically linked to his lawyer, Camille Vasquez. She shot down these rumors in an interview with People. “It’s disappointing that certain outlets kind of ran with it or said that my interactions with Johnny — who is a friend and I’ve known and represented for four-and-a-half years now — that my interactions in any way were inappropriate or unprofessional. That’s disappointing to hear,” she said.
Vasquez said at the time she was “very happy in my relationship” and that it was “unethical” for a lawyer to date one of their clients. “It’s also an unethical charge being made. It’s sexist,” she said. “It’s unfortunate, and it’s disappointing, but at the same time, it kind of comes with the territory. I can’t say I was all that surprised.”