A source close to the Edward Scissorhands actor, 59, tells PEOPLE that "he is actually in a much better place lately. He takes better care of himself."
"He is dating and genuinely seems happy," the insider continues of Depp, whom PEOPLE recently confirmed is dating Joelle Rich, one of the attorneys from his U.K. libel case.
The source says that during his six-week trial against Heard, 36, "Johnny's ugly sides were exposed."
"He has never claimed he is perfect, but making changes is hard. He has worked on issues and accepted help," the insider adds.
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Getty; Shutterstock Johnny Depp; Joelle Rich
A source confirmed Depp's relationship with Rich on Thursday, telling PEOPLE, "They are dating but it's not serious."
Rich is a London lawyer who was on the actor's legal team during his libel case against The Sun, which he lost in November 2020.
He sued the newspaper for calling him a "wife-beater," but the court upheld the outlet's claims as being "substantially true" and his ex-wife Heard testified to back up the claims. In March 2021, his attempt to overturn the decision was overruled.
Depp's new romantic interest was not among his lawyers in this year's defamation case against the Aquaman actress that was in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Marilla Sicilia/Archivio Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Johnny Depp
He won that case; a jury found that Heard defamed him in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence, though she didn't mention him by name. Depp was awarded more than $10 million in damages, while Heard won one of her three defamation countersuit claims and was awarded $2 million. (They are both appealing the verdicts.)
After the recent Virginia verdict, Depp said in a statement that the jury "gave me my life back" and the "best is yet to come" for him. Heard, meanwhile, called it a "setback" for women who speak out.
Though Rich was not on Depp's legal team this time, she did make several court appearances to show support. She was photographed with Depp outside of the courthouse on May 3, and pictured hugging the Pirates of the Caribbean actor's attorney Camille Vasquez inside the courtroom on May 16.
According to her bio, Rich "helps individuals and families in the public eye protect their privacy and reputations" and has "expertise in libel, privacy and copyright disputes." She "works to defend [clients'] reputations against false and defamatory allegations in print, online and on social media."