Helena Bonham Carter Really Went to Bat for Johnny Depp and J.K. Rowling

"Three Minutes: A Lengthening" Screening - UK Jewish Film Festival - Credit: Nicky J Sims/Getty Images
"Three Minutes: A Lengthening" Screening - UK Jewish Film Festival - Credit: Nicky J Sims/Getty Images

Helena Bonham Carter went all out in defending Johnny Depp and J.K. Rowling in a new interview with The Times UK. She said Depp had been “completely vindicated” after his libel suit against Amber Heard, and it was a “load of bollocks” that Rowling was being criticized for her comments about trans people.

Bonham Carter, of course, has close ties to both Depp and Rowling. She and Depp have appeared in numerous movies together over the years, and Depp is the godfather to Bonham Carter’s two children with former partner Tim Burton. Bonham Carter also appeared in the final four installments of the Harry Potter film franchise as Bellatrix Lestrange.

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Speaking of Depp and his victory in his defamation suit against Heard, Bonham Carter said (via Variety), “Johnny certainly went through it… I think he’s fine now. Totally fine.”

Depp was awarded $10 million in damages after a jury found Heard guilty of defaming Depp in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she identified herself as a victim of domestic abuse (Depp was not named in the piece). While the trial featured photos of her injuries, video recordings of Depp’s meltdowns, and witness testimony supporting Heard’s claims of abuse, the court of public opinion also swung largely in Depp’s favor, with many accusing Heard of fabricating her allegations.

Bonham Carter appeared to suggest something similar when asked if Depp’s victory signaled that the #MeToo pendulum was swinging back. “My view is that [Amber Heard] got on that pendulum,” Bonham Carter said. “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.”

As for Rowling, Bonham Carter said it was “horrendous” and “a load of bollocks” that Rowling had been “hounded” for her comments about trans women. While Rowling has denied she’s a trans-exclusionary feminist, she’s also done a lot of hand-wringing about “new trans activism.” She’s raised concerns over trans women being able to use women’s bathrooms, suggesting it makes “natal girls and women less safe.” More recently, she expressed her displeasure with a bill in Scotland that would make it easier for people to legally change their gender.

“It’s been taken to the extreme, the judgmental-ism of people,” Bonham Carter said when asked about the criticism Rowling has received. “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. 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.”

Bonham Carter was also asked about Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson denouncing Rowling’s belief. The actress said she believed the pair should let Rowling “have her opinions,” though she said she understood that both were “very aware of protecting their own fan base and their generation.”

“One thing with the fame game is that there’s an etiquette that comes with it; I don’t agree with talking about other famous people,” added the actress who appeared to suggest, in the same interview, that Amber Heard had made up her abuse allegations.

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