Johnny Depp has responded to criticism surrounding the decision to cast him in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film.
Depp, who has kept the role of Grindelwald in the film franchise, saw fans heavily criticise the production team for allowing him to keep his role following the allegations of abuse made by his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Heard and Depp agreed on an out of court settlement following her allegations of domestic violence on May 2016. Film director David Yates and screenwriter J. K. Rowling have both publicly defended the inclusion of Depp, a decision which the actor himself has responded to.
“I’ll be honest with you, I felt bad for JK [Rowling] having to field all these various feelings from people out there,” Depp said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I felt bad that she had to take that. But ultimately, there is real controversy.”
“The fact remains I was falsely accused, which is why I’m suing The Sun newspaper for defamation for repeating false accusations. JK 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’s words are in response to Rowling’s defence of him, her original statement reads: “The agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected.
“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.”