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The Guardian - AU
The Guardian - AU
Sian Cain

Rick and Morty’s Justin Roiland cleared of domestic violence charges

Justin Roiland pictured at 2019 Comic-Con in California.
Justin Roiland pictured at 2019 Comic-Con in California. Photograph: Araya Doheny/Getty Images

Felony domestic violence charges against Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland have been dismissed, two months after he was dropped from the show.

Kimberly Edds, a spokesperson for the Orange County district attorney’s office, confirmed the development in a statement on Wednesday, saying: “We dismissed the charges today as a result of having insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Roiland, who also voiced Rick and Morty’s two titular characters before he was dropped by the show’s distributor Adult Swim, shared a statement on social media on Wednesday.

“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.

“Most of all, I’m disappointed that so many people were so quick to judge without knowing the facts … That it may have succeeded, even partially, is shameful. However, now that the legal case has ended, I’m determined to move forward and focus both on my creative projects and restoring my good name.”

Roiland was charged with and pleaded not guilty to one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit in 2020. He attended a pretrial hearing in January and a second pretrial hearing was scheduled for April.

“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. I’m thankful justice has prevailed,” Roiland’s attorney, T Edward Welbourn, said in a statement to Variety.

Adult Swim announced it had “ended its association” when the domestic violence charges were widely reported on in January. Hulu similarly dropped him from his roles on animated series Solar Opposites and Koala Man, saying in a statement: “We have ended our association with Justin Roiland.”

All three shows were set to continue on without Roiland’s involvement.

Roiland also resigned from Squanch Games, the video game studio he cofounded in 2016.

When approached by Variety on Wednesday, Adult Swim and Hulu declined to comment on the charges being dismissed.

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