Johnny Depp leaves Fantastic Beasts film franchise

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Johnny Depp has left the Fantastic Beasts film franchise, days after losing a libel case over a newspaper article which called him a wife beater. In a letter to fans, Depp said he had been “asked to resign” from his role as Gellert Grindelwald and had “respected that and agreed to that request”.

He will no longer portray the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, the actor announced Friday.

“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,” he wrote Friday on Instagram.

In Friday’s statement, Depp thanked fans for their “support and loyalty.” “I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days,” he said.

“The surreal judgement of the court in the U.K. will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal,” he concluded. “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.”