The actor who plays the eponymous villain in the "Harry Potter" author's next big movie, "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," told Entertainment Weekly that his boss "knows" Heard "falsely accused" him of physically abusing her during their marriage.
After saying he "felt bad" for Rowling for having to take heat from fans for casting him, he admitted "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," he said. "J.K. 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."
EW noted that Heard's attorney commented, “As the parties agreed in their divorce to resolve future disputes in confidential arbitration, that is the appropriate forum to address Mr. Depp's public denials that he abused Ms. Heard.”
"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 accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role," she conceded, "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."
Rowling's representatives declined to offer any further comment when TooFab reached out on Friday.
Although Depp and Heard settled their divorce last January -- with Depp forking over $7 million to Heard, who donated it to a domestic abuse charity -- their battle over Heard's allegations that he bruised her face has been raging on.
"In UK court proceedings next month, we will be submitting clear evidence of the violence committed serially against him by Ms. Heard and the serious injuries that he suffered," Depp's lawyer Adam Waldman said in a statement earlier this month. "We will also submit overwhelming evidence that Ms. Heard faked the abuse allegations against Mr. Depp."
The statement was part of a response to Heard's lawyer accusing the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star of "continuing his psychological abuse" of his ex-wife by denying her domestic abuse allegations in a new British GQ interview published earlier this week.
The "Aquaman" star's legal team released a statement earlier Wednesday to respond to Depp denying that he ever hit the actress, who filed a temporary restraining order against him in May of 2016 after he allegedly bruised her face. "To harm someone you love? As a kind of bully? No, it didn't, it couldn't even sound like me," he said while spilling his side of the story for the first time.
"If GQ had done even a basic investigation into Mr. Depp's claims, it would have quickly realized that his statements are entirely untrue," Heard's lawyer said in the statement. "Mr. Depp has blatantly disregarded the parties' confidentiality agreement and yet has refused to allow Ms. Heard to respond to his baseless allegations, despite repeated requests that she be allowed to do so."
"Mr. Depp is shamefully continuing his psychological abuse of Ms. Heard, who has attempted to put a very painful part of her life firmly in her past. One need only look at the physical evidence to draw the proper conclusion."
Depp questioned that physical evidence -- photographs of Heard's bruised face -- in the GQ article, which did state it was "not a piece of investigative reporting," but rather "a chance to sit down and talk to a person of immense interest."
"Why didn't that person speak to the police? I mean, they spoke to the police, but the police saw nothing and they offered her an emergency medical technician. She said no," Depp told GQ. "Police see nothing on her. Police see nothing broken in the place, no marks, and then they offer her an EMT to have a look at her and she says no and I don't know if it was the next day or a couple of days later, but then there was a bruise. There was a red mark and then there was a brown bruise."
At another point in the interview Depp said, "We probably shouldn't be talking about this, but I am worried. I worry about the people that bought it and I worry about her. It's just not right. I will never stop fighting. I'll never stop. They'd have to f--king shoot me. An episode like this takes time to get over."
In addition to announcing plans to pursue charges against Heard, Depp's lawyer said his client was "simply defending himself against Ms. Heard's lingering false abuse accusations," and stated, "Johnny Depp is the abuse victim."
The statement continued, "The only 'shameful psychological abuse' stems from Ms. Heard's continuing cynical manipulation of the important #MeToo movement and its real victims, that she has used to pursue her own ends."