Actor Johnny Depp says he was falsely accused in a controversy surrounding his casting in J.K. Rowling's FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD.
The Oscar-winning actor takes on the role of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the sequel after doing a cameo in the 2016 film FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, reported ew.com.
His selection for the role was met with mixed reactions from fans after allegations of physical abuse surfaced from his former wife Amber Heard.
"I'll be honest with you, I felt bad for J.K. having to field all these various feelings from people out there. 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," ew.com quoted Depp as saying.
The studio Warner Bros., screenwriter Rowling and director David Yates were compelled to issue statements supporting Depp's participation.
"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," Rowling wrote.
Deep said Rowling has seen the evidence.
"And therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that's why she has publicly supported me. She doesn't take things lightly. She would not stand up if she didn't know the truth. So that's really it."
Depp is known for films like SLEEPY HOLLOW, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, ALICE IN WONDERLAND and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, which will air in India on Star Movies Select HD on Saturday.