Johnny Depp has said he “felt bad” for author JK Rowling after the backlash she received for supporting his casting in the Fantastic Beasts film series.
In December, Rowling said she was “genuinely happy” about Depp’s casting, despite accusations of domestic violence by his ex-wife Amber Heard.
“JK has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused,” Depp told Entertainment Weekly.
“That’s why she has publicly supported me. She doesn’t take things lightly.”
He continued: “She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth.”
Heard filed for divorce from the actor after 15 months of marriage in May 2016.
Her filing alleged a history of abuse throughout the relationship, which the actor has denied.
Depp made a fleeting appearance as the wizard Grindelwald in the first Fantastic Beasts film in 2016, but will play a much larger part in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which is due for release in November.
Some fans threatened to boycott the sequel because of his role.
“I felt bad for JK having to field all these various feelings from people out there,” the actor told Entertainment Weekly. “I felt bad that she had to take that.
“But 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.”
In her statement in December, Rowling admitted that recasting the role was “naturally considered”, but that she was ultimately “comfortable” sticking with Depp.
Amid the controversy, Depp said he has found the Potter fans “incredibly impressive”.
“They know that world inside and out,” he said. “I hope to give them something they haven’t seen before.”