Director David Yates has defended Johnny Depp’s role in the Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them movies following domestic abuse allegations against him.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor had a cameo role as Gellert Grindelwald in the first installment in the Harry Potter spin-off and is set to become far more prominent in the 2018 sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
After a poster for the movie was released earlier this month (Nov17), social media users blasted the casting of Depp, who had been accused of physical and emotional abuse by his now ex-wife Amber Heard.
When asked about the issue by Entertainment Weekly, franchise director Yates replied: “Honestly, there’s an issue at the moment where there’s a lot of people being accused of things, they’re being accused by multiple victims, and it’s compelling and frightening.
“With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something… 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.”
He continued by saying the women in the actor’s life could attest to his character, which is very different to the one which was accused of abuse, and said his case wasn’t the same as others who have been accused of similar by multiple people over the course of many years.
“Johnny isn’t in that category in any shape or form. So to me, it doesn’t bear any more analysis. It’s a dead issue,” he concluded.
Heard accused Depp of abuse and obtained a restraining order shortly after she filed for divorce in May 2016. Their divorce was finalized in January, with Depp paying her $7 million, which she donated to charity.