You may remember back in 2020 Johnny Depp sued News Group Newspapers (publishers of The Sun) for libel after they dubbed him a ‘wife beater’ in an online article detailing accusations that he’d domestically abused with ex-wife Amber Heard.
And now reports have emerged that Depp is dating a lawyer from Schillings LLP, the international reputation and privacy consultancy who represented him during the case, Joelle Rich. ‘Their chemistry is off the charts,’ an insider told Us Weekly. ‘It’s serious between them. They are the real deal.’
Alongside her colleagues at Schillings, Rich was one of the lawyers who worked on Depp’s case in 2020. After he lost, they filed an appeal which was rejected by the court and Rich told Deadline at the time that she ‘seriously questioned’ the judge’s verdict. Adding that Depp was eager to ‘presenting the complete irrefutable evidence of the truth in the US libel case.’
Rich was not involved in the multi-million-pound defamation trial against Amber Heard which took place in the US earlier this year. However, she was notably present in the Virginia courtroom to reportedly show her ‘support’ for Depp. According to insiders, there was no professional reason for Rich to be in Virginia and that she only visited for ‘personal’ reasons.
Sources have also claimed that Rich was still married when she met Depp and that the pair would meet up ‘discreetly in hotel rooms in the early days of their relationship. Rich is now reportedly divorcing her estranged husband with whom she shares two children.
Rich attended North London Collegiate School and studied Law at the University of Birmingham before undertaking a Legal Practice course with specialisms in Media and Entertainments, Intellectual Property and Commercial, and Private Acquisitions at BPP Law School, her LinkedIn states.
According to Rich’s bio on the Schillings website, she now ‘works to defend 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.’
Depp’s relationship with Rich may come to a surprise to many as speculation swirled earlier this year that Depp was dating his US lawyer Camille Vasquez, who represented him in his defamation case against Amber Heard. Vasquezquickly debunked the relationship rumours and called the suggestion of romance ‘sexist’. ‘It’s also an unethical charge being made,’ she told People. ‘It’s unfortunate and it’s disappointing, but at the same time it king of comes with the territory. I can’t say I was all that surprised.’
Grazia has contacted Joelle Rich and Johnny Depp’s representatives for comment.