Just when you think the words “Johnny Depp” and “trial” and “lawyer” might be moving out after living rent free in your head for two months, they come back with a vengeance.
And I’m afraid this latest update concerns all three: Depp is reportedly dating a lawyer from the team that helped defend him during his defamation trial.
However, in a plot twist, it’s not a lawyer from his US team, but instead from his UK legal team.
This comes as a minor surprise (and major heartbreak to crazed Johnny Depp fans) after the internet became obsessed with the chemistry between Depp, 59, and the lawyer assigned to his US case, Camille Vasquez, 38.
However, these romance rumours were put to bed when it was revealed that Vasquez is in a relationship with a high level executive at WeWork, Edward Owen, and nothing was going on between her and Depp.
She also took aim at the sexist nature of the speculation over her connection with Depp, telling People magazine in June: “It’s also an unethical charge being made. 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.”
Plus, it looks like Depp’s sights may have already been set elsewhere. The lawyer Depp is said to be dating is Joelle Rich, 37, a representative from the legal team which represented him in his UK defamation case back in 2020, versus newspaper The Sun.
In this case, Depp and his team attempted to claim that The Sun had defamed Depp by calling him a “wife beater”. As part of the trial, Heard was made to testify against Depp to prove that The Sun’s reporting was true, and therefore not defamation.
The Sun won their case after the judge presiding over the case, Mr Justice Nicol, ruled that the contents of The Sun article was “substantially true,” finding that 12 out of the 14 incidents of alleged domestic violence had definitely happened.
At the time, a member of Depp’s legal team responded to the verdict, calling it “perverse.”
Jenny Afia of Schillings, the law firm who represented Mr Depp and who also employ Joelle Rich, said: "This decision is as perverse as it is bewildering.
"Most troubling is the judge's reliance on the testimony of Amber Heard, and corresponding disregard of the mountain of counter-evidence from police officers, medical practitioners, her own former assistant, other unchallenged witnesses and an array of documentary evidence which completely undermined the allegations, point by point."
Despite not representing Depp in his highly publicised US case, Joelle Rich was spotted in the court room for the case - sparking relationship rumours, but these were largely overshadowed by the Camille Vasquez fan pairing.
An insider told UsWeekly: “There was no professional obligation for her being there. It was personal.” The source also claimed that the pair would “discreetly” meet up in hotels during the early stages of their relationship.
And they don’t seem to be in the early stages anymore. “Their chemistry is off the charts,” the source told UsWeekly. “It’s serious between them. They are the real deal.”
Neither Depp nor Rich have personally confirmed the relationship yet, but given Depp’s strangely reliable nature to post personal clarifications on Instagram after a rumour starts swirling enough, we may not have to wait long to find out.