Johnny Depp is reported to be dating his former UK lawyer Joelle Rich.
Johnny Depp has been flying (comparatively) under the radar recently, but new reports that he is dating one of his own layers may change that. Per Us Weekly, the former (and maybe future) Pirates of the Caribbean star is currently dating Joelle Rich, a British attorney who was part of the team who represented Johnny Depp during his 2018 libel suit against News Group Newspapers, the publishers of the tabloid The Sun. While neither Johnny Depp nor Joelle Rich has publicly commented on whether they are in a relationship or not, the romantic adventures of the former (probably not future) Fantastic Beasts star have been a staple of celebrity news for decades.
It is worth noting that Joelle Rich did not represent Johnny Depp during the well-publicized and contentious case in Virginia in which the actor and his estranged former spouse Amber Heard both sued each for defamation. However, Joelle Rich did appear several times during the course of the trial as support for Johnny Depp, and made a photo appearance with him at one point. The trial eventually ended largely in Depp’s favor, with Heard being found guilty in all three counts levied against her and Depp being found guilty on one.
The Aquaman star was ordered by the jury to pay $15 million in various damages (out of a requested $50 million), which was immediately reduced per Virginia law to $10.35 million, while Johnny Depp was ordered to pay $2 million in damages (out of $100 million requested). Amber Heard’s legal team immediately announced plans to appeal the decision, though they have been met with significant setbacks and requirements. For his part, Johnny Depp has largely seen a boost in his public image and recently unveiled his first public art show, which sold out in record time.
Us Weekly also notes that Joelle Rich was married at the time she met Johnny Depp (and has two children), but has since filed for divorce from her husband. Johnny Depp lost the libel case in which Joelle Rich and others defended him, with a British judge ruling that Amber Heard’s claims of spousal abuse (which were printed by The Sun, hence the suit) were “substantially true.” At the time, Joelle Rich questioned the ruling in the press, stating that Depp would be stating his claims in the United States, as he has now done.
Since then, it has been unclear exactly where Johnny Depp’s film career will go from here. While it once seemed he might not ever act again, he will soon be portraying the French King Louis XV in filmmaker Maïwenn’s Jeanne Du Barry. While Johnny Depp has had previously, extremely fruitful collaborations with both Warner Bros. (now Warner Bros. Discovery) and Disney, it may be the case that he shies away from working with major studios for at least a while. For now, it seems, Johnny Depp may simply be satisfied to act in some smaller-scale movies and work on his love life while the public eye is not quite as focused on him.