Harry Potter star Helena Bonham Carter defends JK Rowling amid trans rights row

Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange

Helena Bonham Carter believes backlash against JK Rowling is “horrendous”, saying the Harry Potter author has been “hounded” because of her comments on trans people.

Bonham Carter, who played the villainous Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter franchise, shared her thoughts surrounding Rowling (and Johnny Depp) in an interview with The Times

Rowling has come under fire multiple times for her statements about the lives of trans people. Yet, Bonham Carter has confessed she believes the outrage over Rowling’s comments is a “load of b*****ks” and “horrendous”.

“It’s been taken to the extreme, the judgementalism of people,” Bonham Carter said. “She’s allowed her opinion, particularly if she’s suffered abuse.”

Bonham Carter seemingly referred to Rowling’s 2020 revelation she’s a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor. It was also in this now-notorious essay Rowling outlined her stance on trans rights

The Sweeney Todd star believes Rowling didn’t mean for her comments on trans lives to be perceived “aggressively” but thought they were more statements Rowling made “out of her own experiences”. 

“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,” Bonham Carter said. 

“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.”

However, other Harry Potter stars – including Daniel RadcliffeEmma Watson and Rupert Grint – have spoken out against Rowling’s heavily criticised remarks regarding the trans community. 

Harry Potter stars Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson are pictured at a movie premiere alongside author JK Rowling

Helena Bonham Carter says her Harry Potter co-stars, including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, “should let [JK Rowling] have her opinions” on the trans community. (Getty)

When asked if the trio were ‘ungrateful’, Bonham Carter told The Times she thought her Harry Potter castmates “should let [Rowling] have her opinions”. 

“Personally, I feel they should let her have her opinions, but I think they’re very aware of protecting their own fan base and their generation,” she said. “It’s hard. 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.”

But Helena Bonham Carter proceeded to keep talking about other famous people, commenting that she believed Johnny Depp was “completely vindicated” after the Amber Heard defamation trial earlier this year.

Depp sued Heard (who he had been married to) for defamation over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018 about being a victim of domestic violence. The high-profile legal battle made international headlines, and a jury ultimately found Heard had defamed Depp. 

But court ruled in favour of Heard’s countersuit after finding one of Depp’s attorneys defamed her by characterising her abuse allegations as a “hoax”. The Aquaman star is appealing the decision

“I think he’s fine now. Totally fine,” Bonham Carter said. 

During the interview, Bonham Carter was asked if Depp’s legal battle was the “pendulum of #MeToo swinging back”. And Bonham Carter said 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,” Bonham Carter said.