Johnny Depp and Joelle Rich, the lawyer who represented him in his libel lawsuit in the United Kingdom, are no longer dating.
A source told PEOPLE in September that the actor, 59, and the London lawyer were “dating, but it’s not serious.”
Rich was on Depp’s legal team when he lost his libel case against The Sun in November 2020. He sued the newspaper in the United Kingdom for calling him a “wife-beater,” but the court upheld the outlet’s claims as “substantially true,” and his ex-wife Amber Heard testified to back up the claims. His attempt to overturn the decision was rejected in March 2021.
Rich was not represented by an attorney in this year’s defamation case against Heard, 36, which was heard in Fairfax County, Virginia. He won that case; a jury determined that Heard defamed him in her 2018 op-ed about domestic violence, despite the fact that she did not name him. Depp was awarded more than $10 million in restitution. Meanwhile, Heard was awarded $2 million for one of her three defamation countersuit claims. They are both appealing their convictions.
While she did not officially represent him during the trial, Rich was present in the courtroom for some of the Virginia proceedings to demonstrate his assistance.
On May 2, she was captured on camera smiling as she walked ahead of the actor, and the next day, she was photographed looking at something on his phone during a break outside the courtroom. Rich was also seen hugging Depp’s attorney, Camille Vasquez, inside the courtroom on May 16 before exiting the building with Depp and his team on May 19.
Rich “assists individuals and families in the public eye in protecting their privacy and reputations,” according to her bio, and has “expertise in libel, privacy, and copyright disputes.” She works to protect her clients’ reputations from false and defamatory claims in print, online, and on social media.
Following the verdict on June 1, Depp stated that the “best is yet to come” for him and that the jury “gave me my life back.” He also expressed gratitude to his “diligent and unwavering legal team, who did an extraordinary job in assisting me in sharing the truth.”
He has since gone on a music tour to promote his rock album with Jeff Beck, appeared in Rihanna’s upcoming fashion show special for Prime Video, and made a cameo during the MTV VMAs broadcast.
Heard described the verdict as a setback for women at the time: “I’m deeply saddened that the mountain of evidence was insufficient to overcome my ex-disproportionate husband’s power, impact, and sway.” I’m even more frustrated by the implications of this decision for other women. It’s a disappointment. It reverts to a time when a woman who spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. “It undermines the notion that violence against women should be taken seriously.”