On Thursday, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling issued a statement on the casting of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, the villain featured in the upcoming sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Crimes of Grindelwald. Depp, who first appeared as Grindelwald at the end of Fantastic Beasts, was the subject of domestic abuse claims by ex-wife Amber Heard, prompting concern about his continued involvement in the film.
In her statement, Rowling said, “Stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise,” but went on to conclude, “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.”
Rowling’s statement followed a defense of Depp by director David Yates in November, which said:
“I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.”
Shortly after Rowling issued her statement on Thursday, Warner Bros. released an official statement on behalf of the studio, Yates, and producer David Heyman:
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.
This statement was enough for Amber Heard, who took particular issue with the quote the studio cherry-picked from the joint statement by Depp and Heard. Heard took to Instagram Friday to post a copy of that original statement and write:
“For the record, 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.”
See the full statement included in Heard’s Instagram post below:
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