If you’ve followed the legal tribulations of Hollywood icon Johnny Depp, the name Joelle Rich may sound familiar. She’s not just the woman who once dated Depp but is also an attorney who’s managed high-profile clients, including Meghan Markle. Let’s delve into Joelle’s life, profession, and relationship with Depp.
Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Rich attended the University of Birmingham from 2003 to 2006, earning a law degree. Her educational journey continued at the BPP Law School in London from 2006 to 2007. Her expertise in libel, privacy, and copyright disputes quickly led her to become a partner at the international law firm Schillings.
Rich’s legal prowess goes beyond domestic borders. She has represented notable figures like Meghan Markle against the Mail on Sunday in 2021. The law firm also worked on cases involving other clients like Ryan Giggs and J.K. Rowling.
Rich’s reputation for defending clients’ reputations against false and defamatory allegations, whether in print, online, or on social media, is well recognized. As seen in her about section on Schillings, she received the ‘Future Leader Initiative of the Year’ award in 2021 as part of the Citywealth Future Leaders awards.
Her professional association with Depp began when she represented him in his 2020 U.K. libel lawsuit against The Sun. The case centered on the outlet’s claims, upholding Depp as a ‘wife-beater,’ a verdict the court endorsed. Despite this loss, Depp and Rich developed a personal relationship that blossomed into romance. A source confirmed to PEOPLE in September 2022 that Depp and Rich were dating, though it wasn’t ‘serious.’
The personal support she extended to Depp during his Virginia defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard in 2023 affirmed their close bond. Despite not officially representing him, Rich was present at some of the proceedings.
In November 2022, news broke that Depp and Rich had parted ways, contradicting rumors of a split reported by Us Weekly. It stated that the couple were ‘still together’ and both were ‘loving the time they spend together.’
On the personal front, Rich is estranged from her husband and is a mother of two. According to Us Weekly, she shared common ground with Depp, who is a father of two — daughter Lily-Rose Depp and son Jack Depp. She was reportedly in the process of divorcing her husband Jonathan Rich, when she met Depp.
Rich maintains a private presence on social media, which is in line with her professional commitment to protecting the privacy and reputation of public figures. So, the information available about her personal life is limited. As for her relationship with Depp, despite the roller coaster of rumors, it’s apparent that their connection extends beyond a typical attorney-client relationship.