Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, defends the casting of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” franchise despite fans uproar over the domestic violence allegations made against Depp by his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard.
Rowling, who’s also in charge of writing the screenplays for the Harry Potter spin-off, opened up about the controversy tweeting a link to her website with the message, “I’m saying what I can about the Grindelwald casting issue here.”
“Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role,” Rowling wrote on her official statement. “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,” the author said. “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.”
“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,” Rowling said. “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.”
The claims that have fans up in arms refers to Heard’s demand for a domestic violence restraining order against Depp just a week after she filed to end her 15-month marriage in May 2016, alleging the actor had been abusive and violent. Through his legal reps, Depp denied the allegations and said that the claims were “salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation, and lies.”
However, Depp and Heard settled their divorce in January .Æ with Depp paying Heard a $7 million settlement, all of which the “Justice League” actress donated to charity.
Warner Bros., the film distributor, released a statement that said, “We are of course aware of reports that surfaced around the end of Johnny Depp’s marriage, and take seriously the complexity of the issues involved. This matter has been jointly addressed by both parties, in a statement in which they said .≤there was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.’ Based on the circumstances and the information available to us, we, along with the filmmakers, continue to support the decision to proceed with Johnny Depp in the role of Grindelwald in this and future films.”
Nevertheless, Heard also shared the original statement she and Depp had released upon their settlement to her social media accounts, explaining that, “This was our FULL joint statement. To pick and choose certain lines and quote them out of context, is just not right. Women, continue to stand up and stay strong. Love, Amber.”
The statement said: “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains. There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity.”
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