California prosecutors have dismissed felony domestic violence charges against Justin Roiland, co-creator of the animated comedy Rick and Morty, almost two months after he was dropped from the show.
“We dismissed the charges today because there was insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt,” said Orange County district attorney’s spokeswoman Kimberly Edds on Wednesday.
Roiland, 43, was facing one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud or deceit in connection with an alleged January 2020 incident involving a former girlfriend. After the charges came to light, Roiland was dropped by Adult Swim and Hulu Originals, affecting a variety of television shows he was involved in.
Roiland celebrated the dismissal, tweeting “justice” along with a statement.
“I have always known that these claims were false — and I never had any doubt that this day would come,” he wrote. “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.”
Roiland added that he was “disappointed that so many people were so quick to judge without knowing the facts, based solely on the word of a bitter ex trying to bypass due process and have me ‘canceled.'”
— Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland) March 22, 2023
Roiland was charged back in May 2020 and pleaded not guilty. The charges went unnoticed by media outlets until Roiland’s case went to a pre-trial hearing this January.
When the domestic violence charges became public, Adult Swim, which airs Rick and Morty, announced it had cut ties with Roiland. Along with being a co-creator with Dan Harmon, Roiland also provided the voice acting for the show’s two titular characters. The network said they would recast his roles and Rick and Morty would continue without him.
Hulu Originals, which produced two other animated series that Roiland worked on, Solar Opposites and Koala Man, announced at the time that it had also dropped Roiland and would recast his roles.
Adult Swim and Hulu Originals have both declined to comment on Roiland’s charges being dropped.
Roiland’s lawyer, T. Edward Welbourn, wrote that he’s “thankful justice has prevailed.”
“I commend the Orange County district attorney’s office for conducting a thorough review of the facts and deciding to dismiss the case against Justin,” he added in a statement to Variety.
Roiland noted on Twitter that he is “determined to move forward and focus both on my creative projects and restoring my good name.”
— With files from The Associated Press
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