Hollywood star Johnny Depp has left the Fantastic Beasts film franchise, days after losing lost a libel lawsuit against the publishers of British tabloid newspaper The Sun, which had called him a wife-beater.
The actor, Johnny Depp announced In a letter to fans on Friday that he had been “asked to resign” from his role as Gellert Grindelwald and had “respected that and agreed to that request”.
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The US film studio Warner Bros confirmed Depp’s departure and said his role would be recast, the studio also pushed back the release date for the upcoming entry to the summer of 2022, which was originally set for November 2021.
A film studio spokesperson said in a statement: “Johnny Depp will depart the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise, and we thank Johnny for his work on the films to date, ‘Fantastic Beasts3’ is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald [who was originally for depp] will be recast, the film will debut in theaters worldwide in the summer of 2022.”
Johnny, 57, had sued Britain’s The Sun newspaper over a 2018 article, which had published an article about Depp’s relationship with his ex-spouse Amber Heard. In that piece, The Sun alleged that Depp was a “wife-beater.”
Earlier this week, Judge Mr. Justice Nicol found that what The Sun had published was substantially true and that 12 of Heard’s 14 allegations about episodes of physical assault were supportable. This was not a criminal trial against Depp.
The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ actor also wrote: “The surreal judgment of the court in the U.K, will not change my fight, to tell the truth, and I confirm. 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.”