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Johnny Depp ‘dating’ lawyer who represented him during UK libel trial

Johnny Depp is reportedly dating lawyer Joelle Rich, who represented him in his libel lawsuit against The Sun newspaper.

According to Us Weekly, things have gotten “serious” between the Hollywood actor and the solicitor since they struck up a romance.

An insider told the outlet: “Their chemistry is off the charts. It’s serious between them. They are the real deal.”

Joelle Rich

Joelle was on Johnny’s legal team when he sued The Sun newspaper in the UK for libel in 2018.

The lawyer did not represent him in his defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard in Virginia earlier this year, but she was reportedly present in court to show her “support” for the actor.

“There was no professional obligation for her being there. It was personal,” the source added.

Goss.ie has reached out to Rich for a comment. 

WENN.com

Johnny sued News Group Newspapers (NGN) over a 2018 article in The Sun that labelled him a “wife beater”, based on allegations he was physically abusive towards his ex-wife Amber Heard.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star strenuously denied the allegations, while Amber took to the witness stand during the trial in an attempt to prove that the publication’s claims were true.

Following a lengthy trial in the UK, which took place in July 2020, Mr Justice Nicol dismissed Johnny’s libel claim, and told the court: “The claimant has not succeeded in his action for libel.”

Credit: FayesVision/WENN.com

“Although he has proved the necessary elements of his cause of action in libel, the defendants have shown that what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true.”

“I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely as well as the overarching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account.”

Separately, Johnny launched a $50 million defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife in 2019, after she wrote about being an alleged victim of domestic violence in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

Credit: Lia Toby/WENN.com

Following a six-week trial earlier this year, the jury sided with Depp and awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages, and a further $5 million in punitive damages.

However, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the punitive damages to $350,000, which is the State of Virginia’s legal limit, resulting in total damages of $10.4 million awarded to Johnny.

During the trial, Amber detailed multiple incidents of alleged abuse, and told the court that “violence became normal” towards the end of their relationship.

However, Johnny testified that he never hit his ex-wife, and claimed that she was the abuser in their relationship.

In court, the 58-year-old said the allegations that he was a “drunken, cocaine-fueled menace who beat women” have cost him “everything”.

Johnny and Amber first met in 2009 on the set of the film The Rum Diary, and were married in February 2015.

Their divorce was finalised two years later.

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