Johnny Depp has said that he ‘felt bad’ that J.K. Rowling had to come forward to support him in the casting row over Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
Fans rounded on Depp playing villain Grindelwald, following accusations of physical and emotional abuse levelled at him by his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Depp has long denied the allegations, saying that he has been ‘falsely accused’.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said: “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. 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.
“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.”
Rowling had come under pressure from fans to justify casting Depp, following Heard’s claims.
In a statement earlier this year, she said: “’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.”
Depp’s libel case with The Sun begins next month.
He’s also confirmed that he will be appearing in the third movie in the Fantastic Beasts series.
“It was a gas [playing Grindelwald] and I look forward to the next instalment, which I think we start the middle of next year,” he told reporters at the Zurich Film Festival.