“Rick and Morty” creator Justin Roiland has been cleared of domestic violence charges, Variety confirms. Kimberly Edds, spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s office, said in a statement: “We dismissed the charges today as a result of having insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Roiland took to social media to respond to the dropped charges, writing in a statement that he is “thankful the case has been dismissed. He added, “I’m still deeply shaken by the horrible lies that were reported about me during this process.”
Roiland appeared in court in January for a pre-trial 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. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in 2020. A second pre-trial hearing was scheduled for April 27.
“I have always known that these claims were false — and I never had any doubt that this day would come,” Roiland said in the new statement. “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.'”
Roiland added, “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’s attorney, T. Edward Welbourn, added in a statement to Variety: “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.”
Adult Swim severed ties with Roiland at the end of January because of the domestic violence charges. The network said in a brief statement at the time: “Adult Swim has ended its association with Justin Roiland.” Roiland then resigned from Squanch Games, the video game developer banner that he co-founded in 2016.
Best known for co-creating the Adult Swim animated comedy “Rick and Morty,” on which he also voiced the show’s two titular characters, Roiland’s credits also include Hulu’s “Solar Opposites,” which was renewed for a fifth season back in October, and “Koala Man,” which he executive produced and had a voice role in. Hulu similarly dropped him from both series in January, saying in a statement: “We have ended our association with Justin Roiland.” The shows were not canceled and will continue on without his involvement.
Adult Swim and Hulu declined to comment on this latest development.
Welbourn maintained his client’s innocence back in January in the following statement to Variety: “It is hard to overstate how inaccurate the recent media coverage of this situation has been. To be clear, not only is Justin innocent but we also have every expectation that this matter is on course to be dismissed once the District Attorney’s office has completed its methodical review of the evidence. We look forward to clearing Justin’s name and helping him move forward as swiftly as possible.”
“Rick and Morty” Season 6 wrapped up in December 2022, but more episodes are coming presumably without Roiland’s involvement.