Ever since his surprise casting in 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, star Johnny Depp and the production has faced controversy following allegations of domestic abuse from ex-spouse Amber Heard. As press on the film's sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, ramps up, Depp has addressed the controversy while publicly maintaining his stance of innocence in the matter.
"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," admitted Depp in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in regards to the Harry Potter creator and Fantastic Beasts producer and writer J.K. Rowling facing criticism for Depp's casting in spite of allegations of domestic violence which the actor continues to deny. "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."
Heard officially filed for divorce from Depp amid allegations of domestic violence accompanied by photos of her battered visage as evidence. Depp denied the allegations, stating any altercations between the estranged couple were strictly verbal with the divorce ultimately reaching a $7 million settlement. The divorced couple initially issued a joint statement acknowledging that Heard had not made the allegations falsely for financial gain and there never any intent of physical or emotional harm from Depp. The actor has since filed a lawsuit for libel against The Sun regarding the domestic abuse accusations expected to go to court next month while Heard's legal team has explored options following continued denials from Depp and allegations that he has refused to uphold the terms of their previous settlement.
"J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that’s why she has publicly supported me," Depp continued. "She doesn’t take things lightly. She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth."
Arriving on November 16, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is directed by David Yates, with J.K. Rowling, David Heyman, Steve Kloves, and Lionel Wigram serving as producers. The film stars Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, and Callum Turner.