Johnny Depp Forced Out of 'Fantastic Beasts' Role Following Libel Case

Joe Price
·2 min read

Following the news that Johnny Depp lost his libel case against British tabloid the Sun, the actor has announced his departure from the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

Depp portrayed Gellert Grindelwald in 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a prequel of the Harry Potter series, and its 2018 sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald. He was expected to return to the role in a currently untitled 2021 sequel, but Depp has since revealed that he will no longer be a part of the film.

"In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement," wrote Depp in a letter he shared on Instagram. "Firstly, I'd like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days. Secondly, I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request."

His departure from the role comes shortly after Justice Andrew Nicol said in his British court ruling that Depp, who was suing News Group Newspapers and Sun editor Dan Wootton, had "not succeeded in his action for libel." The suit focused on a 2018 article in which it was alleged Depp physically assaulted Amber Heard. The couple were married from 2015 to 2017, and their complicated divorce has received a lot of media attention.

Depp has continually called the assault and abuse allegations leveled against by Heard as a "hoax," and has alleged that Heard was abusive towards him. He once again claimed his innocence in the letter he published on Friday. "The surreal judgment of the court in the U.K. will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal," the letter reads. "My resolved remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false," he continued. "My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time. Thank you for reading."

Read the full letter above.

Related Articles

More Complex

Sign up for the Complex Newsletter for breaking news, events, and unique stories.

Follow Complex on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok