Justin Roiland, the co-creator and former star of the animated comedy “Rick and Morty,” was cleared of domestic violence charges, prosecutors said.
The charges filed in May 2020 against Roiland, 43, were dropped “due to insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt,” Kimberly Edds, spokesperson for the Orange County District Attorney’s office, told the Los Angeles Times in a telephone interview.
“I have always known that these claims were false -- and I never had any doubt that this day would come,” Roiland wrote in a statement he posted to Twitter. “I’m thankful that this case has been dismissed but, at the same time, I’m still deeply shaken by the horrible lies that were reported about me during this process. Most of all, I’m disappointed that so many people were so quick to judge without knowing the facts, based solely on the word of an embittered ex trying to bypass due process and have me ‘canceled.’ That it may have succeeded, even partially, is shameful.”
Roiland appeared in court in January for a pretrial hearing after he was charged with one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit, according to Variety. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and had been scheduled to appear at a pretrial hearing on April 27, the entertainment news website reported.
In late January, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s counterpart for mature audiences at distributes “Rick and Morty,” announced that it had “ended its association” with Roiland, according to The New York Times.
Hulu, which had just premiered “Koala Man,” in which Roiland was an executive producer, also said it would no longer work with him, although the shows he had worked on for the company would continue, Rolling Stone reported. Hulu also stopped working with Roiland on “Solar Opposites,” a show he co-created and starred in.
Hulu and Adult Swim declined to comment about the dropped charges, Variety reported.
Over six seasons on “Rick and Morty,” Roiland voiced both of the show’s main characters -- mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his grandson, Morty Smith, The New York Times reported.
The charges against Roiland came from an alleged incident in January 2020 in Anaheim, California, the Los Angeles Times reported. According to the complaint, which was obtained by the newspaper, the incident involved an unnamed Jane Doe who was dating Roiland at that time.
The sixth season of “Rick and Morty” ended in December 2022, but more episodes are coming, Variety reported.
When Roiland left the show, an executive at Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns Cartoon Network, said that the title characters would be recast for the seventh season, The New York Times reported.
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