J.K. Rowling‘s decision to cast Johnny Depp in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise was met with controversy after his ex-wife Amber Heard accused him of abuse, but the “Harry Potter” author always has stood by her decision.
Now, Depp is breaking his silence on the role.
“I’ll be honest with you, I felt bad for J.K. [Rowling] having to field all these various feelings from people out there. I felt bad that she had to take that,” the 55-year-old actor told Entertainment Weekly. “But ultimately, there is real controversy. The fact remains I was falsely accused…”
Depp, who plays villain Gellert Grindelwald in the fantasy franchise, claimed Rowling publicly supported him because she “knows” he was “falsely accused.”
“J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that’s why she has publicly supported me,” he said. “She doesn’t take things lightly. She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth. So that’s really it.”
When production was announced on the film’s sequel, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” the film’s studio, Warner Bros., Rowling and director David Yates released statements regarding Depp’s inclusion.
“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,” Rowling wrote at the time.
Depp has vehemently denied Heard’s allegations, which included claims that Depp physically abused her while he was intoxicated.
This story originally appeared in the New York Post.