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Johnny Depp exits 'Fantastic Beasts' franchise amid abuse allegations

By Dandi Galvez Published Nov 07, 2020 6:04 am

Johnny Depp, who played Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films, has been "asked to resign" from the movie franchise in the midst of ongoing abuse accusations from ex-wife Amber Heard, and just days after a UK court ruled against the actor in a libel case against British tabloid The Sun.

On a post from his official Instagram account days after the libel case verdict was handed down on Nov. 2, Depp issued a statement thanking everyone for their "support and loyalty" before revealing that he was asked by Warner Bros. to resign from his role as Grindelwald, whose character he played in the first two films in the franchise.

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"I have respected and agreed to that request," he said. Depp continues, "I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time."

In 2017, Heard accused Depp of physical and emotional abuse. Despite the allegations, the actor was kept on for the sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

In 2018, The Sun ran a story on the case, calling Depp a "wife beater" for which he sued the tabloid for libel. This week, a UK judge, Justice Andrew Nicol, went in favor of The Sun and said the phrase was "substantially true" in light of proven evidence.