Johnny Depp is reportedly dating a lawyer who represented him in his 2020 High Court libel trial.
Depp, 59, is said to be getting “serious” with Joelle Rich, 37, a partner at major international law firm Schillings, and they are meeting “quietly” in hotels.
“Their chemistry is off the charts,” a source told US Weekly.
“It is serious between them. They are the real deal.”
Ms. Rich was not part of the legal team that represented Depp in his libel trial against Amber Heard earlier this year, but she did attend the trial in Fairfax, Virginia, reportedly to “support” the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.
“There was no professional obligation for her to be there,” the source added.
“It was personal.”
A separate source told People magazine that they were dating “but it’s not serious.”
Mrs. Rich is said to be in the process of divorcing her husband Jonathan, with whom she has two children.
She was on the legal team that represented Depp when he sued The Sun for calling him a “wife beater.”
Depp lost the case after Judge Nicol ruled that the newspaper article was “substantially true”.
Ms Rich, whose birth name is Joelle Rashti, grew up in leafy Mill Hill in north London and was educated at North London Collegiate School, which charges up to £22,308 a year.
Rumors had previously abounded about an alleged affair between Depp and Camille Vasquez, one of the lawyers representing him in his trial against Heard, and TikTok videos of the couple exchanging hugs to romantic music went viral.
Ms Vasquez criticized the speculation, calling it “disappointing” and insisting her behavior was in no way “inappropriate or unprofessional”.
“It is also an unethical charge that is being made. It’s sexist,” he told People.
“It’s unfortunate and disappointing, but at the same time it comes with the territory. I can’t say I was that surprised.”
He said he cares “very deeply about my clients” and said his tactile nature is a result of his Cuban and Colombian heritage.
He also insisted that he was “very happy” with his partner, WeWork executive Edward Owen.
Depp and Heard split in 2017, two years after getting married.
He was previously married to make-up artist Lori Anne Allison and has children Lily-Rose, 23, and Jack, 20, with his former partner, French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis.
Depp and Heard met in 2009 on the set of The Rum Diary and began dating in early 2012.
Three years later, the couple married at their Los Angeles home.
But in 2016, Miss Heard filed for divorce, accusing him of physical abuse.
A series of lawsuits and counterclaims followed with each move made public.
In 2018, The Sun published an article describing Depp as a “wife beater”. Depp sued the newspaper’s publisher for defamation.
Both Depp and Heard testified at the 2020 trial, where Depp was represented by Ms Rich’s Schillings firm in High Court, which focused on 14 alleged incidents of abuse.
In that case, the judge ruled in favor of The Sun.
Depp had also sued Heard over separate comments made in an article in The Washington Post.
After a very public trial this summer, the US court this time ruled in Depp’s favour, awarding him £6.6 million in damages.