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.
How did Johnny Depp and Joelle Rich start dating? Page Six confirmed on September 22, 2022 that Depp and Rich are dating after his defamation trial with his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Page Six also reported that Rich, a lawyer who represented Depp in his 2020 defamation lawsuit against The Sun, was married when she met Depp but has since separated from her husband and is in the middle of a divorce. Rich and her husband share two children.
A source also told Us Weekly at the time that Depp and Rich’s relationship is the “real deal.” “Their chemistry is off the charts,” the insider said. “It’s serious between them. They are the real deal.” While Rich wasn’t one of the lawyers that represented Depp in his 2022 trial against Heard, she was present in the courtroom to “support” the actor, according to Us Weekly‘s source. “There was no professional obligation for her being there. It was personal,” the insider said, adding that Depp and Rich “discreetly” met up in hotels in the early stages of their relationship. Despite Us Weekly’s source’s claim Depp and Rich’s relationship is “serious,” an insider told People at the time that that’s not the case. “They are dating but it’s not serious,” the source said.
Depp and Rich’s relationship comes after Depp’s other lawyer, Camille Vasquez, who represented him in his trial with Heard, responded to rumors they were dating in an interview with People. “I guess it comes with the territory of being a woman just doing her job,” she said at the time. “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 continued, “I care very deeply about my clients, and we have obviously become close. But when I say we, I mean the entire team, and of course that includes Johnny. And, I’m Cuban and Colombian. I’m tactile. What do you want me to say? I hug everyone. And I’m not ashamed about that.”
Vasquez also told People that “my work is my love” and “when I love, I love really deeply.” She also added of Depp, “This man was fighting for his life and it broke my heart to see him day in and day out have to sit there and listen to the most horrific allegations being made against him. And if I could provide any bit of comfort, then of course I would do that, whether it’s holding his hand or letting him know that we were there and we were going to fight for him because he deserved it.” Vasquez also called romance rumors between her and Depp “sexist” and “unethical.” “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.” A source also told People at the time that rumors of a relationship between Depp and Vasquez were “entirely, 100 percent, unequivocally untrue.”
Vasquez, for her part, is dating WeWork executive Edward Owen. She told Peopleat the time that she was “very happy in my relationship” and emphasized it was “unethical for us to date our clients.”
Who is Johnny Depp’s girlfriend, Joelle Rich? Rich lives in London and is an attorney and partner at the law firm Schillings International with a specialty in libel, privacy and copyright cases. “Joelle helps individuals and families in the public eye protect their privacy and reputations, both in and outside of the court room,” reads her biography on the firm’s website. “Often acting for her clients in times of crisis, Joelle works to defend their reputations against false and defamatory allegations in print, online, and on social media. She has particular expertise in protecting individuals’ privacy from unwarranted intrusion and media attention. With over a decade of experience in media law, Joelle is able to astutely identify risks to clients’ privacy and reputation, devising effective strategies to safeguard them.”
Her biography continues, “She has a wealth of expertise in libel, privacy and copyright disputes, having recently been part of the team which won a major privacy and copyright case in the public eye, and having also led on a recent high-profile libel claim. A highly experienced litigator, Joelle’s objective is to use the law to ensure that her clients are protected from arbitrary interference into their personal or business lives.”
Rich won the Silver Award for “Future Leader Initiative of the Year”at the Citywealth Future Leaders awards in 2021 and was shortlisted as a finalist for the “Future Leader in Private Client Services” award at the Spear’s Wealth Management Awards in 2021. According to Us Weekly, Rich is married but separated from her husband, who she’s divorcing. She and her husband share two children.