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Johnny Depp forced to quit Fantastic Beasts 3 after libel case loss

Star takes to Instagram to reveals departure and reaffirm innocence

Johnny Depp has stood down from his role in the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise but vowed to clear his name. AFP 
Johnny Depp has stood down from his role in the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise but vowed to clear his name. AFP 

Hollywood star Johnny Depp has announced that he is resigning from Fantastic Beasts 3 after pressure was brought to bear by the film's producers

In a letter to fans Mr Depp, who played the wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spinoffs, said he "respected that and agreed to that request".

He also wrote of his determination to fight the "surreal judgement" of the UK court which dismissed his libel against the The Sun newspaper on Monday.:

Mr Depp, 57, had sued News Group Newspapers, publishers of The Sun, and one of its journalists, Dan Wootton, over the 2018 story which stated he had been violent towards his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, 34.

The paper also questioned his casting in the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise spinoff.

Over the course of three weeks at London's Old Bailey in July, judge Andrew Nicol heard evidence from both Mr Depp and Ms Heard about their tempestuous marriage, alleged affairs, his hedonistic lifestyle, and battle with drink and drugs, and their furious rows.

Both accused the other of violent outbursts.

"I accept that the defendants have shown that the words they published were substantially true in the meanings I have held them to bear," the judge said in his ruling.

"It follows that this claim is dismissed."

Mr Depp has also filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Ms Heard in a Virginia court over an opinion piece she wrote in The Washington Post.

The actor posted his letter on Instagram and it can be read in full here:

Updated: November 7, 2020 12:51 AM

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