Johnny Depp Asked to Resign from Fantastic Beasts Franchise Following Lost Libel Case

by Jon D. B.
johnny-depp-resigns-from-major-role-fantastic-beasts-harry-potter-franchise-following-lost-libel-case

Johnny Depp has been “asked to resign” from the Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts franchise by Warner Bros. after losing his “wife beater” libel case.

Posting to Instagram today, Johnny Depp says he has been “asked to resign” from the Wizarding World. As a result, his portrayal of the Fantastic Beasts’ main villain, Gellert Grindelwald, has come to an end. Depp says he “respected that and agreed to that request”.

Moreover, Depp is labeling the libel judgement “surreal”. He plans to appeal.

In the meantime, the actor has penned an open letter to fans on Instagram. Within, Depp says this ruling will not “change [his] fight to tell the truth”.

The decision to axe Depp comes after a crippling legal loss in London. Local – and prolific tabloid – The Sun has proven victorious after Depp opened a libel case against them. The paper refers to Depp as a “wife beater” on several pages of the issues in question.

Of the decision, the British judge says he believes Depp was extensively abusive to ex-wife Amber Heard. In this, the descriptor The Sun uses is “justified” and the allegations are “substantially true”.

Rulings Against Depp Found To Be True

“I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms. Heard by Mr. Depp have been proven to the civil standard,” Judge Nicol writes in his verdict.

Press Herald describes the ongoing cases as “the biggest English libel trials of the 21st century”. Within, “Depp sued News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article that accused him of assaulting fellow actor Heard.”

The entire core of the court cases comes from 14 allegations of domestic abuse against Amber Heard. The incidents are global.

Heard says the abuse was a result of Depp’s “heavy drug and alcohol use and that he could turn into a self-created third party,” which he referred to as “The Monster.”

Judge Nicol states that “several times when Heard feared for her life”. This is including a “three-day hostage situation” in Australia in March of 2015.

“I accept her evidence of the nature of the assaults he committed against her,” Nicol writes. “They must have been terrifying.”

Depp, however, argues that these allegations cause “serious harm” hand have him “severely damaged” – as is his reputation. His legal team says the case was about “clearing his reputation”.

A representative for Depp claims “we hope that in contrast to this case, the ongoing libel proceedings in America are equitable, with both parties providing full disclosure rather than one side strategically cherry-picking what evidence can and cannot be relied upon.”

Moreover, Amber Heard’s attorney says the verdict is “not a surprise”. The Sun, however, is hailing this as a “stunning victory for press freedom.”

Major Johnny Depp Role Will Be Recast

Warner Bros. is confirming their request for Depp to resign. They then clarify, according to BBC, that the third Fantastic Beasts film would be recast to replace him.

“We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date,” WB adds.

Depp’s latest work consists of the Fantastic Beasts franchise – a prequel series to the wildly successful Harry Potter films. He first appeared as Grindelwald briefly in the first film in 2016. Following this, he reprised his role as the main villain in 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. A title that, surely, is not to age well.

Warner Bros. clarifies the third film is already in production. It is slated for a Summer 2022 release without Johnny Depp.

[H/T BBC News]

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