Johnny Depp Claims JK Rowling "Knows" He Was "Falsely Accused"
His spell on Hollywood hasn't broken just yet and in a rare interview Johnny Depp has discussed his involvement in 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'.
For one of the year's most anticipated blockbusters, the casting of Depp in the titular role of Grindelwald has been a point of contention following the accusations of abuse from his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Chatting to Entertainment Weekly, Depp gave a rare insight as to how the accusations and his deteriorating public reputation played on his experience with the film.
"I felt bad for J.K. having to field all these various feelings from people out there," Depp told EW, "I felt bad that she had to take that. But ultimately, there is real controversy."
Depp continued, saying Rowling's support was due to the fact that the author "knows" Depp was "falsely accused".
"The fact remains I was falsely accused, which is why I’m suing the Sun newspaper for defamation for repeating false accusations," Depp said before alleging that he has "proof" the allegations are false.
Depp is reportedly planning to sue The Sun for running a headline that questioned Rowling's casting of him that also labelled the actor a wife-beater following Heard's claims.
"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."
In December 2017 Rowling posted one a statement regarding Depp's casting following continued outcry that the actor would be included in the film.
"Based on our understanding of the circumstances," Rowling's statement reads, "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."
I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.
Depp's inclusion in the film isn't the only controversy Crimes of Grindelwald has faced. First, there was the news that Dumbledore -- a character made retroactively gay by Rowling after his death in the books -- wouldn't be "explicitly gay" in the films.
It was a confusing revelation considering the films track Dumbledore's past, as well as his relationship with Grindelwald who Rowling also suggested was one of the wizard's great loves.
More recently Jude Law, who plays young Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts sequel, rolled out the line that "your sexuality doesn't necessarily define you". The film, however, is about his and Grindlewald's big battle, one that -- based on their romantic past -- is complex at best.
Following that, there was the revelation that Chloe Kim would be playing the role of Nagini, who is notably Voldemort's obedient snakey sidekick in the Harry Potter novels.
Rowling revealed that Nagini suffers from a blood curse which slowly transforms her into a snake over time. Some fans were uncomfortable with the optics of a woman of colour literally caged, as well as being subservient to two powerful white men (Grindelwald and Voldemort).
It was another retroactive revelation Rowling claimed she had always wanted to roll out, and again was forced to defend her decision online.
It will be interesting to see how audiences react to the film which has so far been a lightning rod for controversy.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits cinemas November 17.
Featured image: Getty Images.