Casting Johnny Depp in any movie is always a little risky, particularly from a financial perspective, but with abusers and harassers in Hollywood currently facing a reckoning, it seems like a matter of time before people start talking about the rumors of Depp’s physically violent behavior once again. However, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald director David Yates doesn’t think there’s any reason to drag Depp’s name through the mud just because of real (alleged) monsters like Harvey Weinstein, though. Depp is set to play the villain in the movie, and Yates told Entertainment Weekly that any accusations against Depp don’t “tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.”
“With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something,” Yates said, adding, “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.” He also says that Depp’s case is “very different” from ones with “multiple accusers over many years,” and while he recognizes that the movie industry needs to reflect on that and listen to victims’ allegations, Depp “isn’t in that category in any shape or form.”
So, since Yates closes his comment to EW by saying that this is a “dead issue,” let’s go back and look at Depp’s divorce from Amber Heard, who had accused him of beating her during their one-year marriage. She got a restraining order against him and appeared in court with a visible black eye, eventually prompting Depp to offer her $7 million to drop a domestic violence charge and put an end to their divorce case. She accepted, later donating all of the money to the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital Of Los Angeles, and as part of the divorce settlement the two of them released a joint statement saying that “neither party has made false accusations for financial gains” and that “there was never an intent of physical or emotional harm.”
In other words, both of them confirmed that they hadn’t lied about anything they had said, indicating from everything but a legal standpoint that Heard stands by her allegations and that Depp doesn’t deny them. She can’t do anything about it after the settlement, but it is out there, whether it matters to David Yates or not.