Johnny Depp has revealed he has been fired from his Fantastic Beasts role. The star, who played Gellert Grindelwald in the Harry Potter prequel series, had lost his high profile libel case earlier this week against The Sun newspaper after it described him as a ‘wife-beater’ in a 2018 article.
Depp wrote on Instagram, “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.” The Hollywood star told the High Court the articles had caused serious harm to his personal and professional reputation, and that the paper’s intention was to “finish” his career. However, the judge did not find it in his favor. In the statement posted last night from London, he said he would battle the court judgment against him, declaring ‘My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time.
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The complete statement by Depp on Instagram is as follows, “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 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 that and agreed to that request. Finally, I wish to say this. The surreal judgment 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. Thank you for reading. Sincerely Johnny Depp.”
In a statement, Warner Bros said: “Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date. Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast. The film will debut in theatres worldwide in the summer of 2022.”