12:05 pm EDT, November 28, 2017

‘Fantastic Beasts’ director defends Johnny Depp casting: Only one accuser, and ‘he’s filled with decency and kindness’

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald director David Yates is defending their casting of Johnny Depp, which has been met with criticism due to the way he allegedly treated ex-wife Amber Heard.

Entertainment Weekly recently pressed Yates in light of the ongoing backlash. Fresh waves of criticism came in when WB revealed that the title of the second Fantastic Beasts film features the name of Depp’s character, suggesting that the actor will continue to have a prominent role.

In the new interview, Yates’ defense is that there is only one person who has come forward against Depp, unlike other recent cases that have been backed up by multiple women.

“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,” Yates told EW. “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.”

Yates also pointed to women from Depp’s past who defended the actor. “By testament, some of the women in [Depp’s] life have said the same thing — ‘that’s not the human being we know,’” Yates said. “It’s very different [than cases] where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. 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.”

Amber Heard had accused Depp of being emotionally and physically abusive. Photos and audio of the abuse came to light as the trial went on, while at the same time women from Depp’s past came to his defense (“In all the years I have known Johnny, he has never been physically abusive with me and this looks nothing like the man I lived with for 14 wonderful years,” said ex-wife Vanessa Paradis). They settled their divorce in court, and Heard’s settlement money went to the ACLU and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters November 2018.

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