Johnny Depp reportedly dating trial lawyer Joelle Rich, 22 years his junior
Johnny Depp is reportedly dating a lawyer who represented him in his 2020 High Court libel trial.
Depp, 59, is said to be getting ‘serious’ with 37-year-old Joelle Rich — a partner at major international law firm Schillings — with them meeting ‘discretely’ in hotels.
“Their chemistry is off the charts,” a source told US Weekly.
“It’s serious between them. They are the real deal.”
Ms Rich was not part of the legal team who represented Depp in his defamation trial against Amber Heard earlier this year, but she attended the trial in Fairfax, Virginia, to reportedly “support” the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.
“There was no professional obligation for her being there,” the source added.
“It was personal.”
A separate source told People magazine that they were dating “but it’s not serious”.
Ms Rich is said to be in the process of getting divorced from her husband Jonathan, with whom she has two children.
She was on the legal team that represented Depp when he sued The Sun for calling him a “wife beater”.
Depp lost the case after judge Mr Justice Nicol ruled that the newspaper’s article was “substantially true”.
Ms Rich, born Joelle Rashti, grew up in leafy Mill Hill, North London, and was educated at North London Collegiate School — which charges up to £22,308 per year.
Rumours had previously been rife about an alleged romance between Depp and Camille Vasquez, one of the lawyers who was representing him in his trial against Heard, with TikTok videos of the pair exchanging hugs set to romantic music going viral.
Ms Vasquez hit out at the speculation, branding it “disappointing” and insisted her behaviour was in no way “inappropriate or unprofessional”.
“It’s also an unethical charge being made. It’s sexist,” she told People.
“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.”
She said she cared “very deeply about my clients” and said her tactile nature is a result of her Cuban and Colombian heritage.
She also insisted she was “very happy” with her partner, WeWork executive Edward Owen.
Depp and Heard split in 2017, two years after they got married.
He was previously married to make-up artist Lori Anne Allison and has children Lily-Rose, 23, and Jack, 20, with his former partner, French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis.
Depp and Heard met in 2009 on the set of The Rum Diary and started dating by early 2012.
Three years later the pair were married at their Los Angeles home.
But in 2016, Miss Heard filed for divorce and accused him of physical abuse.
A series of lawsuits and countersuits followed with each move made public.
In 2018, The Sun published an article that described Depp as a “wife beater”. Depp sued the paper’s publisher for libel.
Both Depp and Heard testified in the 2020 trial – where Depp was represented by Ms Rich’s firm Schillings at the High Court — which focused on 14 alleged incidents of abuse.
In that case, the judge ruled in favour of The Sun.
Depp had also sued Heard over separate comments made in an article in The Washington Post.
Following a very public trial this summer, this time the US court ruled in Depp’s favour, awarding him £6.6million in damages.