Four days after a court ruled that Johnny Depp abused his ex-wife Amber Heard during their tumultuous time together, the actor angrily announced on Friday that he had been asked to step down from his role as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise.
“I want to let you know that Warner Bros asked me to step down from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I respected and accepted that request,” Depp wrote on Instagram Friday.
Depp’s release from the lucrative “Harry Potter” series comes days after losing his libel case against News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, and tabloid editor Dan Wootton. In a 2018 article, The Sun alleged that the once-beloved star was “a female drummer.” In a stunning verdict that went against most expectations, a judge ruled the story “substantially true”, the Daily Mail and Daily Beast reported.
In his Instagram post, Depp confirmed he plans to appeal the decision. “The surreal judgment of the UK court will not change my struggle to speak the truth and I confirm that I intend to appeal,” he said. “My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and my career will not be defined by this moment in time.
Her career and reputation have so far been heavily affected by Heard’s allegations. His casting in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise divided “Harry Potter” fans and forced author JK Rowling to make the controversial decision to stand up for himself in 2017.
Fans felt betrayed by Depp’s cast because Rowling became known through her fiction and social media as a strong advocate for empowering women and survivors of abuse. Rowling said she was “really happy that Johnny is playing a major character in the movies.”
Rowing explained in a statement that she had been “deeply concerned” by Heard’s allegations, but said she and the filmmakers had some insight into what had transpired between Depp and Heard. This insight led her, and the filmmakers, to believe that violence in marriage was reciprocal or somehow exaggerated. Rowling had not released any statement on Friday morning about Depp’s departure to Grindelwald. His usually active Twitter account has been silent since mid-October.
It was seen as a risky move for Depp to file his libel complaint, as it meant that trivial details about his and Heard’s behavior during their five years together were released in a public trial during the summer. Depp must have thought it was worth it to save his career as one of Hollywood’s most popular and bankable stars.
During the 16-day trial in July, the judge heard several allegations against Depp, including the time in 2014 when Heard said a drunk Depp slapped and kicked her on a robbery. Boston in Los Angeles, before passing out in the bathroom. The Sun claimed that Depp’s jealousy, addiction and misogyny led to “violent outbursts,” including a fight in Australia in 2015 in which Depp’s finger was severed and he used the stump to scribble messages in his own blood.
Depp, moreover, has faced intense questions about his extravagant and indulgent Hollywood lifestyle, alcohol and drug abuse, and allegations of violence. Depp and Heard, 34, started dating in late 2011, tied the knot in 2015, but separated in 2016, when Heard filed a domestic violence restraining order against him.
During his testimony, Depp admitted to drinking and consuming excessively cocaine and spoke of the loss of the $ 650 million he had earned at the height of his “Pirates of the Caribbean” fame. He also accused Heard of having an affair with billionaire Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, which Heard denied, and was questioned about threatening to cut Musk’s penis.