Actor Johnny Depp, who appeared unexpectedly in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, gave an interview to Entertainment Weekly magazine in which he spoke for the first time about his controversial casting as the franchise’s villain, Gellert Grindelwald.
“I will be honest with you: I felt bad for J.K. [Rowling] having to fight all those feelings of people out there”, he said, admitting the existence of the controversy. “The facts are that I was falsely accused”, says Depp, who is suing the tabloid The Sun for defamation. “J.K. saw the evidence and therefore knows that I was falsely accused. That’s why she publicly supported me. She is not a fool. She wouldn’t do it if she did not know the truth”, he says.
In May 2016, Johnny Depp was accused by his then-wife, Amber Heard, of physical and psychological aggression. The actress claimed that during their marriage, held in February 2015, Depp had been abusive. The case went to court. Among allegations of lies and attempts of financial gain, the pair signed an agreement in August 2016. An official statement, signed by both, stated that “their relationship was intensely passionate and sometimes volatile, but always permeated by love” and that “there was never any intention of physical or emotional harm”.
Although the actor’s scene in the first Fantastic Beasts‘ movie was filmed in January 2016, his participation was revealed only in November of that year, weeks before the release of the film, causing disappointed fans to request the replacement of the actor, which did not happen. Facing the ongoing questioning in social medias, J.K. Rowling commented about the matter in December 2017, saying that she understood “the reason some people are confused and angry because we did not replace the actor”.
The author, based on her understanding of the circumstances, defended the permanence of the actor. However, she gave no details, given that “the agreements that were made to protect the privacy of these two people, who expressed a desire to continue with their lives, have to be respected”.