Johnny Depp Reportedly Dating His Former Lawyer

Speculation that Johnny Depp was romantically connected to his lawyer in his Amber Heard trial earlier this year may not have been too far off, as a new report claims he is dating a different lawyer from another legal battle of his. Us Weekly has reported that Depp is currently dating attorney Joelle Rich, whom he hired to represent him in his libel lawsuit in the United Kingdom against The Sun. "Their chemistry is off the charts," an insider told Us Weekly about the Fantastic Beasts actor, 59, and the lawyer. "It's serious between them. They are the real deal." PEOPLE also confirmed the story with their source saying, "They are dating but it's not serious."

After Depp sued the U.K. newspaper for libel in 2018, Rich worked on his case against the outlet, but she was not part of the team representing him at his defamation trial against Amber Heard earlier this year. However, Rich did appear in the Virginia courtroom to reportedly lend "support" for the Hollywood Vampires frontman. "There was no professional obligation for her being there. It was personal," the source told Us Weekly, adding that the pair met "discreetly" in hotels at the beginning of their relationship. Rich was married when she met Depp, but she is now divorcing her husband, according to Us Weekly. She shares two children with her estranged spouse.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star was also rumored to be dating attorney Camille Vasquez, who represented him in the defamation case against Heard, 36. Later, the 38-year-old Southwestern Law School graduate denounced the "sexist" speculation about her relationship with Depp. "It's also an unethical charge being made," Vasquez told PEOPLE in June. "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." 

Many viral TikTok videos focused on Vasquez hugging her client at trial, but she said it's just how she feels affectionate toward anyone she has worked closely with for a prolonged period. As Depp's lawyer, she worked on the case for more than four years. "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," she said. "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 confirmed she has a boyfriend, stating, "[I'm] very happy in my relationship." The Daily Mail identified her boyfriend as Edward Owen, a WeWork executive. In May, Us Weekly reported that Depp was not dating his attorney. "Camille has a boyfriend and this is such a reach," a source told Us at the time. "It's complete fiction."

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Depp filed two lawsuits against Heard following their divorce in 2017. In an article about his involvement in Fantastic BeastsThe Sun referred to him as a "wife beater." The report cited allegations Heard previously made about his abuse before they split in 2016. Coronavirus delays pushed the trial to July 2020. Several months later, the U.K.'s High Court ruled that The Sun's article about the Aquaman star's ex-husband was not defamatory because her claims were "substantially true." The court denied Depp's appeal request in March 2021. 

In 2018, Depp sued Heard over a Washington Post op-ed in which she described herself as a domestic violence victim. The U.S. trial began in April. A jury ruled in favor of Depp in June, awarding him damages of $10.35 million. The jury also awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages after determining that one of Depp's lawyers made a defamatory statement about her. "From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome," Depp said in a statement following the verdict. "Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that."