Johnny Depp has opened up for the first time about the controversy surrounding his being cast in the ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ series. The actor first appeared as his character, Grindelwald, at the end of the first ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movie and has a starring role in its sequel, ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’, which is due for release in Irish cinemas on November 16th.
His casting was initially met with criticism from fans following accusations by his ex-wife Amber Heard of physical and emotional abuse. Last August, Depp accused Heard of assaulting him in a court filing.
In an interview with EW, Depp opened up for the first time about how the accusations impacted his role in the 'wizarding world'-set films. He expressed feeling bad for J.K. Rowling for having to defend him.
“I’ll be honest with you, I felt bad for J.K. having to field all these various feelings from people out there. I felt bad that she had to take that. But ultimately, there is real controversy,” Depp told EW.
“The fact remains I was falsely accused, which is why I’m suing The Sun newspaper for defamation for repeating false accusations. J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that’s why she has publicly supported me. She doesn’t take things lightly. She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth. So that’s really it.”
Depp sued The Sun for libel in June. EW writes that Depp’s attorney has claimed “evidence” will be presented during court proceedings in The Sun defamation case next month.
Heard’s attorney has said, “As the parties agreed in their divorce to resolve future disputes in confidential arbitration, that is the appropriate forum to address Mr. Depp’s public denials that he abused Ms. Heard.”
Rowling wrote in a statement on her website last year: “’Harry Potter’ fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time ‘Potter’ director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.
“Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”