Actor Johnny Depp has been fired from Fantastic Beasts after losing his libel case in the United Kingdom. The case, which saw Depp suing U.K. tabloid The Sun for describing him in a 2018 article as a “wife-beater” during his marriage to Amber Heard, was ruled in the publication’s favor on Monday, November 2.
Days later, Depp took to Instagram to address his case and exit from the Fantastic Beasts franchise. The actor, 57, has played the Harry Potter spinoff’s role of Grindelwald since originating the villain in 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. (He later reprised his role in 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and was set to star once again in the franchise’s forthcoming third installment). “In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement,” Depp began his message to fans on Friday, November 6.
“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,” he wrote, before confirming his resignation from the Fantastic Beasts franchise. “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,” he wrote. News of Warner Bros. decision to remove Depp from the franchise was first announced on Friday, November 6. Variety confirmed that the production company would recast Depp’s role before the third film in the franchise debuts in 2022.
The Pirates of the Caribbean alum continued, “Finally, I wish to say this. The surreal judgement [sic] of the court in the U.K. will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal. My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time.”
The presiding judge over Depp’s court case, Justin Nicol, ruled that The Sun‘s article was “substantially true” in a written statement delivered through the Ministry of Justice in the U.K., as per PEOPLE. “The Claimant (Depp) has not succeeded in his action for libel,” Nicol wrote, confirming Depp’s loss in the case.