Domestic violence charges against ‘Rick and Morty’ co-creator Justin Roiland dismissed
The prolific animation producer said he’s “thankful” that the case has been dropped but “still deeply shaken by the horrible lies that were reported about me during this process.”
Kimberly Edds, a spokesperson for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, said Wednesday in a statement to EW, “We dismissed the charges today as a result of having insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
In a statement celebrating the dismissal on social media, Roiland, 43, said, “I have always known that these claims were false — and I never had any doubt that this day would come. 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.”
He added that he is “determined to move forward and focus on both my creative projects and restoring my good name.”
NBC News broke the story in January that Roiland had been charged in 2020 with one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit. Roiland’s accuser, an anonymous woman identified as Jane Doe, alleged that an encounter with Roiland, with whom she had been “in a dating relationship” at the time, resulted in a “traumatic condition” for her.
Roiland pleaded not guilty to the charges and has maintained his innocence.
Adult Swim cut ties with Roiland in late January and said Rick and Morty would continue, indicating that Roiland’s voice roles as the titular characters would be recast. Hulu, the platform of Roiland’s animated shows Solar Opposites and Koala Man, and Squanch Games, a video game company he co-founded, also parted ways with him.
In the days after news of the charges against Roiland became public, multiple women came forward on social media with vulgar messages they claimed Roiland had sent them. In February, an in-depth Hollywood Reporter investigation reported that Roiland’s workplace behavior had made some colleagues uncomfortable for years. According to multiple unnamed sources, “Roiland once paraded a high-profile porn star through the Rick and Morty writers room, openly discussed threesomes, and was involved in at least one instance of alleged sexual harassment during the show’s third season, notably its first with female writers.” Roiland declined to comment to THR at the time.
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