Rowl­ing nearly dropped Depp from Potter film over abuse claim

The Daily Telegraph - - News -

JK ROWL­ING has de­fended the cast­ing of Johnny Depp in a Harry Potter spinoff fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of do­mes­tic abuse, as she re­vealed she con­sid­ered pulling him off the film.

A num­ber of fans had ex­pressed their dis­ap­point­ment that Depp was to ap­pear as Grindel­wald in the forth­com­ing Fan­tas­tic Beasts and Where to Find Them se­quel af­ter he was ac­cused of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence by his ex-wife, Am­ber Heard, last year.

Rowl­ing, who writes the spin-off film se­ries, said that the al­le­ga­tions “deeply con­cerned” her at the time, while Depp was film­ing his small part in the first film, and that she and David Yates, its di­rec­tor, did con­sider re­cast­ing the role for Fan­tas­tic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindel­wald.

How­ever, she said that, while she un­der­stood that not all fans would be sat­is­fied, she was “gen­uinely happy” to have Depp play a lead­ing char­ac­ter.

She wrote in a state­ment: “Harry Potter fans had le­git­i­mate ques­tions and con­cerns about our choice to con­tinue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter di­rec­tor, has al­ready said, we nat­u­rally con­sid­ered the pos­si­bil­ity of re­cast­ing.”

She said she un­der­stood why “some have been con­fused and an­gry” that Depp was not re­cast, and that not be­ing able to speak openly with fans about the is­sues “has been dif­fi­cult, frus­trat­ing and at times painful”.

She added: “How­ever, 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.”

Depp and Heard, who split in April last year af­ter 15 months of mar­riage, later is­sued a joint state­ment say­ing there was “never any in­tent of phys­i­cal or emo­tional harm”.

Johnny Depp, far right, re­turns as dark wizard Gellert Grindel­wald, for the forth­com­ing Harry Potter spin-off film se­quel Fan­tas­tic Breasts: The Crimes of Grindel­wald

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