Depp’s new paramour, Joelle Rich, was spotted with him at his Virginia defamation trial against Amber Heard
Johnny Depp smokes a cigarette as he shows his girlfriend, Joelle Rich, something on his phone during a recess in his Virginia defamation trial against Amber Heard on May 3, 2022. (Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)
Johnny Depp is dating Joelle Rich, a married lawyer who represented him in his U.K. defamation trial against a British tabloid for branding him a “wife-beater,” Fox News Digital confirmed.
Rich is separated from her husband and is divorcing him, a source said. She was not part of the legal team that represented Depp in his Virginia defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard, but she was present for part of the six-week trial, which wrapped up in June.
The London-based mother of two was spotted more than once chatting with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star on smoke breaks outside the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse.
She also stayed with Depp at the Ritz-Carlton in McLean, Virginia, where he was holed up for the trial and dined with him and his team on several occasions at The Palm, an upscale steakhouse next door to the five-star hotel, another source said.
During Depp’s Virginia defamation trial, rumors swirled that he was dating attorney Camille Vasquez, but they both were quick to deny the gossip.
Vasquez was particularly offended by the unfounded speculation.
“It’s also an unethical charge being made. It’s sexist,” she told People magazine after Depp’s courtroom triumph.
“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.”
Rich works for Schillings, a U.K.-based firm that helps high-profile people protect their privacy and reputations, according to the company’s website.
Although the attorney and her team lost the 2020 U.K. court battle, the “Black Mass” star didn’t appear to hold the defeat against her.
It’s unclear how serious the pair’s relationship is or when their romance began.
The nationally televised courtroom spectacle in Virginia ended with a jury awarding Depp a $15 million judgment against Heard for defaming him.
Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the sum to $10.35 million. The jury handed Heard $2 million in her countersuit, but the verdict was largely seen as a sweeping victory for Depp, who has experienced a professional renaissance in the months since.
Both Depp and Heard have said they plan to appeal.
Rebecca Rosenberg is a veteran journalist and book author with a focus on crime and criminal justice. Email tips to [email protected] and @ReRosenberg.