The actor issued a statement exclusively to PEOPLE apologizing for the remarks he made Thursday in England at the Glastonbury Festival, during which he asked the crowd, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”
“I apologize for the bad joke I attempted last night in poor taste about President Trump,” he said. “It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone.”
The actor was on hand to introduce a screening of his 2004 film The Libertine when he asked the crowd, “Can you bring Trump here?” When the crowd began booing, Depp followed up, saying, “No, no, no, you misunderstood completely. I think he needs… help.”
He continued, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” The crowd then cheered and clapped, but Depp continued speaking, saying, “I want to clarify, I’m not an actor. I lie for a living.”
The White House previously condemned his remarks. “President Trump has condemned violence in all forms and it’s sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead. I hope that some of Mr. Depp’s colleagues will speak out against this type of rhetoric as strongly as they would if his comments were directed to a Democrat elected official,” a statement read.
The Secret Service also confirmed it was aware of Depp’s comments. Threatening the president is a crime under U.S. law. “For security reasons, we cannot discuss specifically nor in general terms the means and methods of how we perform our protective responsibilities,” the Secret Service said in a statement.