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Harry Potter director defends Johnny Depp casting amid criticism from fans

Johnny Depp will play Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spin-off

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Johnny Depp's casting as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise was met with backlash from many Harry Potter fans due to the allegations of domestic abuse made against the Edward Scissorhands actor by his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Now, the director of the Harry Potter spin-off series, David Yates, has defended the decision to keep him in films, calling the allegations a "dead issue".

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Johnny plays Grindelwald in the film franchise

Speaking to EW about Johnny's involvement in the franchise, he said: "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. 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."

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The first photo for the sequel was recently released

His comments were met with a mixed response from fans, with one tweeting: "Well this is an awful response from David Yates. Apparently because Depp doesn't have multiple accusers, then Amber Heard shouldn't be believed. Wow," while another added: "I trust David Yates speaking on this. The allegations aren't good but it neither makes sense to fire him at this point, nor are the claims certain. I've kept my opinion on the fence about Depp, but... I think he'll make a good Grindelwald, and it's worth looking forward to."

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Johnny and Amber settled their divorce back in 2016, and released a joint statement at the time which read: "Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love," it read. "There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains."