Johnny Depp reportedly has a new lady love, and she has a connection to Meghan Markle.
Depp is dating lawyer Joelle Rich, who represented the 59-year-old actor in his U.K. libel lawsuit against British tabloid The Sun, Us Weekly reported.
Although Depp and Rich have yet to officially address the dating rumors, an unnamed source told the outlet that "it's serious between them. They are the real deal."
"Their chemistry is off the charts," the insider claimed.
Depp sued the Sun newspaper in 2018 over an article that called him a "wife beater" in connection with his ex-wife Amber Heard's domestic abuse allegations against him, which he denied. He lost the case in November 2020. In March last year, his attempt to overturn the decision was overruled.
Rich and her firm also represented Markle, 41, in a case against the publishers of the Mail on Sunday last year, People reported. The duchess won her case after a court found that Mail on Sunday breached Markle's privacy in February 2019 by printing parts of a letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, without her consent shortly after her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.
Rich is a partner at the law firm Schillings with over a decade of experience in media law and expertise in libel, privacy and copyright disputes, according to her company profile.
Her bio also states that she "helps individuals and families in the public eye protect their privacy and reputations" and "works to defend [clients'] reputations against false and defamatory allegations in print, online and on social media."
Rich was not among Depp's lawyers in his defamation case against Heard, 36, in Fairfax County, Virginia, earlier this year. He won that case after a jury found that the "Aquaman" actress defamed him in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence.
But though Rich was not on Depp's legal team for the case, she made several court appearances during the six-week trial, which ended in June, to show her "support" for him.
"There was no professional obligation for her being there. It was personal," the source told Us Weekly, adding that the new couple "discreetly" met up in hotels during the early stages of their romance.
The source also claimed that Rich was married when she met the actor but is now in the process of divorcing her estranged husband, with whom she shares two children.
During his defamation trial against Heard, in which Depp was awarded more than $10 million in damages, the actor was romantically linked to one of his attorneys, Camille Vasquez.
But the 37-year-old rising lawyer, who was made partner at her law firm after Depp won his case, immediately shut down the rumors, saying that it was "unethical" for lawyers to date their clients and that the speculation was "sexist," People reported.
"It's also an unethical charge being made. It's sexist," 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."
Vasquez added that she was disappointed "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."
"I care very deeply about my clients, and we have obviously become close," she explained. "But when I say us, 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."