J.K Rowling has defended her decision to allow Johnny Depp to keep his role in the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them sequel.
The actor, who plays Grindelwald in the franchise, was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife Amber Heard last year.
And after receiving feedback from fans who were against his casting, the Harry Potter author admits she and director David Yates did consider recasting the role for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindlewald.
However, despite being “deeply concerned” by the reports, she says that based on her “understanding of the circumstances” they decided to stick with Depp.
She said in a statement: “As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.
“The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life. For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful,” she continued.
“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.”
Standing by their decision, she explained that despite her initial hesitance, she and her colleagues are now looking forward to having the star onboard.
“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,” she said.
“I’ve loved writing the first two screenplays and I can’t wait for fans to see The Crimes of Grindelwald. I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role.
“However, conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.”
Johnny and Amber settled their divorce case in August 2016, when the actress withdrew her application for a domestic violence restraining order as part of a reported $7million settlement.
In a joint statement, they said: “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love.
“There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains.”