Johnny Depp reveals he's QUIT Fantastic Beasts role

Johnny Depp reveals Warner Bros have FIRED him from Fantastic Beasts role after Amber Heard trial – but vows to ‘prove allegations against him are FALSE’

  • Johnny Depp, 57, said he had quit the film role on studio’s request but vowed to fight the court judgement
  • He lost his long-running libel battle with his ex-wife Amber Heard and The Sun newspaper last week
  • The star’s reputation lies in tatters after London’s High Court found he did beat Heard during their marriage 
  • Lawyers for Aquaman star Heard said today that they were ‘not surprised’ by the judgement in her favour 
  • Depp sued The Sun over a 2018 article with the headline: ‘Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?’

Johnny Depp has revealed he has been fired from his Fantastic Beasts role after losing the Amber Heard ‘wife-beater’ libel trial – but has vowed to appeal and ‘prove allegations against him are false’.

Depp, 57, was branded a ‘monster’ by a judge who said he DID beat Amber 12 times as he lost his £5million libel trial.

But in a bombshell statement posted last night from London he said he would battle the court judgement against him, declaring ‘My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time’.

Depp announced: ‘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 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. Thank you for reading. Sincerely Johnny Depp.’

Warner Bros said the role of Grindelwald in the films would be recast. 

In a statement, the film studio 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.’

Depp posted a statement on Instagram saying he would appeal the decision and confirming he had resigned from the film

Johnny Depp (right), 57, today lost his bitter High Court fight with Amber Heard (left) and The Sun newspaper. The court found Depp was ‘wife beater’ following a sensational 16-day trial which lifted the lid on the fallen Hollywood icon’s chaotic lifestyle

Depp had taken The Sun to court over an article which had labelled him a wife-beater, but lost the case.

He now faces a desperate battle to salvage his career after losing the blockbuster libel action and being labelled a wife beater, according to a top celebrity crisis management expert.

Mark Borkowski said for the 57-year-old to resume his career would be the equivalent of ‘climbing Mt Everest without oxygen, barefoot and in his underpants’.

He said: ‘His reputation is in tatters. Having lost this libel case he will always be known as a wife beater. Whenever he is interviewed by a journalist, he will be asked about this and if he is a wife beater.

‘It does not get any worse for him. Hollywood is very corporate and risk adverse with its money. Those making film franchises will not want to take the risk. This is a personal disaster for him. For him to come back will be the equivalent of climbing Mt Everest without oxygen, in his underpants and barefoot. That’s how hard it will be.’

Borkowski, whose clients include Noel Edmunds and Led Zeppelin star Jimmy Page, said Depp’s one hope was his huge worldwide fan base who will support him despite the verdict in the High Court.

‘Don’t write him off just yet. He is still very popular, so I would never say never that he will come back. He has a huge fan base who will still support him.’

‘There is also the #MeToo movement and Hollywood is engaged in a cultural war. He might not get involved in the big blockbusters, but there are also smaller independent films.

Borkowski questioned the decision by Depp bring the case against The Sun newspaper.

‘I am sure he now regrets bringing this case but he obviously felt it was necessary.’

Other reputation management experts agreed that Depp faces the end of his career.

Troubled: In his ruling the judge found Depp had attacked his ex-wife Heard a dozen times and said he accepted that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor became a ‘monster’ when he binged on drink and drugs (pictured in January 2016) 

Emotional: Amber Heard hugged her family outside her LA home on Monday after hearing the Johnny Depp verdict:after judge branded her ex husband ‘a monster’ who DID beat her 12 times as he lost his £5m ‘wife-beater’ libel trial

Steven Heffer, Head of Media and Privacy at law firm Collyer Bristow said: ‘Depp’s strategy was high risk and has proved an absolute disaster. It is often best not to risk all for these sort of legal cases. A better approach may have been to publish a public statement denying the allegations.

‘That would have left question marks but would have avoided the disaster scenario. Nobody can be forced to bring a libel claim, and given the stormy background of the relationship it was probably unwise to do so.

‘Unfortunately for Depp, it is highly likely to have been a career-ending decision. What it does mean is that the future of the other legal actions is uncertain.’

Depp still faces a hearing in the America where he is suing his former wife for £39m in a defamation suit following a 2018 article for The Washington Post where she discussed domestic violence.

Depp had hoped a victory in the High Court in London would bolster his case which is not likely to be heard until 2021.

Amber Melville- Brown from law firm Withers said the libel defeat could see Depp drop the defamation suit.

She said: ‘Johnny and Amber are set to meet again in the courts of Virginia, USA in May 2021 regarding a comment piece she wrote in the Washington Post – a piece that he says means that he is violent towards women.

‘Not only will the extensive evidence in the case ‘over here’ be dissected by the attorneys ‘over there’ but this judgment may stop the US proceedings in its tracks.

‘While the accusations may be slightly different, the legal systems are even more so, and the burden of proof on the defendant in the label courts of England and Wales is much higher than it is in the US.

‘Accordingly, Depp’s failure to convince a British judge to that higher standard may sink the American libel ship of Hollywood’s most famous pirate of the Caribbean.’

Phil Hall, who runs the PHA Group, said the only way back for Depp was to admit his mistakes.

He said: ‘There has to be a mea culpa and clean himself up, get off drink and drunks and show that he has changed. If he doesn’t do that then his career could be over.’

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