Johnny Depp spoke up for the first time about his character and role in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” and he says that not only does he have writer J.K. Rowling’s support, he says Rowling “knows” that he has been “falsely accused.”
Depp is currently suing the British tabloid The Sun for libel following an article published in April called, “How can J.K. Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film,” after Rowling issued a statement of support for Depp’s casting in the film following his domestic abuse accusations.
Depp’s ex-wife, Amber Heard, accused him of domestic abuse in a divorce case that was eventually settled out of court.
Depp said that Rowling has seen “evidence” his lawyers intend to present in his libel case against The Sun and said he feels bad for the “Harry Potter” franchise creator.
“I’ll be honest with you, I felt bad for J.K. having to field all these various feelings from people out there,” Depp said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
A representative for Rowling told TheWrap that the author will not be commenting further beyond her earlier statement in support of Depp.
“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 in a post on her website.
Heard’s attorney’s replied to TheWrap via a representative, saying, “As the parties agreed in their divorce to resolve future disputes in confidential arbitration, that is the appropriate forum to address Mr. Depp’s public denials that he abused Ms. Heard.”
Representatives The Sun did not immediately respond for comment.
Depp also alluded to his character’s sexuality in the film, saying that it should be left up to the audience to “feel” what they think.
“It makes the situation with Dumbledore all the more intense,” Depp said. “I think there’s a jealousy with Scamander. He sees Scamander as Dumbledore’s protégé — his boy, in a way. That in itself is enough for Grindelwald to want to take Scamander down in a way that is ferocious and eternal.”
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” opens Nov. 16. Read Depp’s full interview here.