Helena Bonham Carter defends J.K. Rowling and Johnny Depp: “It’s a load of bollocks”

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Helena Bonham Carter has spoken out in defence of Harry Potter author J.K Rowling and Johnny Depp.

The actor, who played Bellatrix Lestrange across the Harry Potter film franchise, discussed the controversy around Rowling after she made comments that have been criticised as transphobic.

“It’s horrendous, a load of bollocks,” Bonham Carter told The Times. “I think she has been hounded. It’s been taken to the extreme, the judgmentalism of people. She’s allowed her opinion, particularly if she’s suffered abuse. Everybody carries their own history of trauma and forms their opinions from that trauma and you have to respect where people come from and their pain.

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“You don’t all have to agree on everything – that would be insane and boring. She’s not meaning it aggressively, she’s just saying something out of her own experience.”

J.K. Rowling attends the ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ world premiere on March 29, 2022 in London, England. Credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage.

Bonham Carter also addressed Depp’s recent defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard, claiming the court verdict, which ruled in Depp’s favour, had “completely vindicated” him. Depp and Bonham Carter have collaborated in multiple films and he is the godfather to her two children with former partner Tim Burton.

Asked if the libel case was the “pendulum of #MeToo swinging back”, Bonham Carter replied: “My view is that [Heard] got on that pendulum. That’s the problem with these things – that people will jump on the bandwagon because it’s the trend and to be the poster girl for it.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Bonham Carter criticised the idea that someone’s personal life should impact their career. “Do you ban a genius for their sexual practises? There would be millions of people who if you looked closely enough at their personal life you would disqualify them,” she added.

“You can’t ban people. I hate cancel culture. It has become quite hysterical and there’s kind of a witch hunt and a lack of understanding.”

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Depp sued Heard for defamation over a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post, where she wrote about being a survivor of domestic violence. While his name isn’t mentioned, Depp’s lawyers argued that it falsely implied she was sexually and physically abused by him in their marriage.

The trial concluded in June with the jury siding with Depp, who was awarded $10million (£8million) in compensatory damages and $5million in punitive damages. Heard was awarded $2million for her counterclaim against Depp.

In July, Heard filed an official notice to appeal the outcome of the trial. A spokesperson for Heard said: “We believe the court made errors that prevented a just and fair verdict consistent with the first amendment. We are therefore appealing the verdict.”

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