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J. K. Rowling defends the casting of Johnny Depp in ‘Fantastic Beasts’

Author J. K. Rowling is voicing her support to actor Johnny Depp and his casting in an upcoming sequel to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

(AP)

J. K. Rowling expressed her support for Johnny Depp and his casting in an upcoming sequel to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” after the earlier domestic violence allegations against the actor.

The author published a statement on its website Thursday, breaking her silence on what had been a simmering controversy for the franchise. Some Harry Potter fans have said they would boycott “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” after Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard in May 2016, said that Depp was “verbally and physically abusive” to her during their marriage. Depp mentioned that the claim and others “salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation and lies.” The two settled their divorce last year.

Rowling has acknowledged that the reports were “deeply concerned” her and the others behind the production, and that she and director David Yates considered to be the recast of Depp’s role. While Depp had a short cameo in the “Fantastic Beasts,” he has a lead role as the Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the follow-up of the film, and possible future installments in the pre-Potter-franchise.

“For me personally, the inability to speak openly to the fans about this issue is difficult, frustrating and sometimes painful. However, the arrangements that are there for the protection of the privacy of two people, who have expressed a desire to go on with their lives, must be respected,” wrote Rowling. “On the basis of our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable to maintain our original casting, but really happy that Johnny is playing a important character in the film.”

Rowling added: “I accept that there are people who are not satisfied with our choice of the actor in the lead role. However, the conscience is not controllable by the committee. Within the world of the fiction and outside, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.”

Warner Bros. said that it supported the decision.

“This case has been jointly tackled by both parties, in a statement in which they said:” there is never the intention of physical or emotional harm,'” said the studio in a statement. “On the basis of the circumstances and the information available to us, we, together with the filmmakers, continue to support the decision to go with Johnny Depp in the role of Grindelwald in this and future movies.”

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