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Johnny Depp Resigned From His Role In The "Fantastic Beasts" Series After Losing His Libel Case

"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."

Johnny Depp has resigned from the Fantastic Beasts series after losing his recent libel case, he announced on Friday.

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Depp revealed the news in an Instagram post shared to his 7.4 million followers, confirming that he had been asked to resign by bosses at Warner Bros. and had accepted the request.

"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.

Warner Bros

Depp went on to thank his supporters before confirming that he will be appealing the decision made in court earlier this week.

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"The surreal judgement of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal," he wrote. "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 news comes just four days after Depp lost his legal battle against the Sun newspaper following the publication of an article claiming he had assaulted ex-wife Amber Heard. Depp denied the allegations and sued the publication for libel.

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The judge in the trial concluded that the "great majority of alleged assaults" on Heard had been "proved to the civil standard". (In civil law, the burden of proof is lower than the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard in criminal law.)

Depp had played Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts series since 2016, but his casting in the franchise after Heard's initial claims of domestic abuse earlier that year caused backlash from the start and his involvement has remained contentious ever since.

Harry Potter is so obviously condemning any type of abuse (i.e Umbridge, Dursleys, Tom Riddle), so how can they allow this? #FantasticBeasts

J.K. Rowling defended Depp's casting in 2017, stating that she was "happy" and "comfortable" with having him on board.

In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. thanked Depp for his work before confirming that the role of Grindelwald will be recast.

You can read Depp's full statement here.

In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement. Firstly, I'd like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. I have been humbled and moved by 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.

Finally, I wish to say this. The surreal judgement of the court in the UK 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.

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