Courted in the courtroom. Johnny Depp and Joelle Rich are dating three months after his defamation trial with his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
News broke that Depp and Rich—an attorney who represented him in his 2020 lawsuit against The Sun—were in a relationship broke on September 22, 2022, when Us Weekly reported that the two were in a “serious” romance after they started “discreetly” dating amid Depp’s trial with Heard throughout April and May 2022.
Rich is Depp’s first public relationship since his divorce from Heard in 2017 after two years of marriage. Depp was also married to makeup artist Lori Anne Wilson from 1983 to 1985 and shares two children with ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Paradis: son Jack Depp and daughter Lily-Rose Depp. Depp and Paradis dated from 1998 to 2011. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2013, Depp opened up about why he never married Paradis despite their 13-year relationship. “I never found myself needing that piece of paper. Marriage is really from soul to soul, heart to heart,” he said at the time. “You don’t need somebody to say, okay you’re married. Relationships are very difficult. Especially in the racket that I’m in because you’re constantly away or they’re away and so it’s hard. It wasn’t easy on her. It wasn’t easy on me. It wasn’t easy on the kids.”
He continued, “So, yeah. The trajectory of that relationship — you play it out until it goes, one thing leads to another. So for whatever reason that ceases, it doesn’t stop the fact that you care for that person, and they’re the mother of your kids, and you’ll always know each other, and you’re always gonna be in each other’s lives because of those kids. You might as well make the best of it.”
But back to Johnny Depp and Joelle Rich. So…how did Johnny Depp and Joelle Rich start dating and who is the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s new girlfriend? Read on for what we know about Johnny Depp and Joelle Rich’s relationship ahead.
Johnny Depp has a new woman in his life.
The actor is dating attorney Joelle Rich, who previously represented him during his U.K. libel case, a source confirms to PEOPLE.
“They are dating but it’s not serious,” the source says.
The two originally worked together during his 2020 U.K. libel trial, when the actor sued The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater.” The court upheld the outlet’s claims as being “substantially true” (and his ex-wife Amber Heard testified to back up the claims). In March 2021, his attempt to overturn the decision was overruled.
Rich was not on Depp’s legal team for his subsequent Virginia defamation trial against Heard.
From her background as a lawyer to how she has supported Depp since his 2020 trial, here’s everything to know about Joelle Rich.
She’s married but estranged from her husband
A source confirms to PEOPLE that while Depp’s new girlfriend is married, she is currently estranged from her husband.
She’s a mom
Additionally, Us Weekly (who first broke the story) reports that Rich is a mom, sharing two children with her estranged husband. She shares that in common with Depp, who has two children of his own, daughter Lily-Rose Depp and son Jack Depp, whom he shares with ex Vanessa Paradis.
She showed up to support Johnny Depp during his recent trial
Though Rich was not on Depp’s legal team for the Virginia defamation trial against Heard earlier this year, she did show up to support him, attending several proceedings inside the courtroom. Rich was also spotted hugging Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez inside the courtroom on May 16 and later was seen exiting the courthouse with Depp and his team on May 19.
She’s based in the U.K.
Rich is based in London, where she is a partner at the international law firm Schillings, per her LinkedIn. According to her bio on the company website, Rich “helps individuals and families in the public eye protect their privacy and reputations” and has “expertise in libel, privacy and copyright disputes.” She “works to defend [clients’] reputations against false and defamatory allegations in print, online and on social media.”
She graduated from the University of Birmingham
Before working at Schillings, Rich studied at the University of Birmingham in Birmingham, England from 2003 to 2006, earning a degree in law. She later went BPP Law School in London from 2006 to 2007, where she studied legal practice course, per her LinkedIn.
She previously represented Meghan Markle
Depp isn’t the only big name Rich has represented. Her firm previously represented Meghan Markle in a case against the publishers of the Mail on Sunday in 2021.