Johnny Depp has spoken out against the backlash against his casting in the Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them franchise.
Fans hit out against JK Rowling, as well as director David Yates and producer David Heyman, for allowing the 55-year-old to be part of the film, following allegations of domestic abuse made against him by ex-wife Amber Heard – something he has fiercely denied.
And the Pirates Of The Caribbean actor revealed he felt bad for the Harry Potter author for having to face the negativity behind his casting.
Ill be honest with you, I felt bad for JK having to field all these various feelings from people out there, he explained. I felt bad that she had to take that.
But ultimately, there is real controversy. The fact remains I was falsely accused.
JK has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and thats why she has publicly supported me. She doesnt take things lightly, he added to Entertainment Weekly. She would not stand up if she didnt know the truth. So thats really it.
His words come after JK responded to the criticism by fans over the actor being cast as Gellert Grindelwald in the spin-off movies, alongside Jude Laws Dumbledore and Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne.
The writer previously released a statement explaining she was happy to keep Depp on board in the films despite anger from viewers.
When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought hed be wonderful in the role. However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise., it began.
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 didnt happen.
The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life. For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful.
However, 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.
Ive loved writing the first two screenplays and I cant wait for fans to see The Crimes of Grindelwald. I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isnt governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.
While David added in a separate statement: None of us involved in Fantastic Beasts would ever let our appreciation of talent obscure other, far more important considerations.
We recognised the magnitude of the issues raised and understood the strength of feeling expressed. We hoped and strived at all times to be sensitive to both parties.
We stand by our decision to have Johnny in the films.
The Crimes Of Grindelwald is released in cinemas on 16 November.