'Rick and Morty' creator has domestic abuse charges dropped
FILE - Justin Roiland poses for a portrait to promote the television series "Rick and Morty" on day two of Comic-Con International, July 21, 2017, in San Diego. Roiland, who created the animated series “Rick and Morty” and provides the voices of the two title characters, is awaiting trial on charges of felony domestic violence against a former girlfriend. A criminal complaint obtained Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, by The Associated Press from prosecutors in Orange County, Calif., detailed the charges against him. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, March 22, 2023 8:43PM EDT
LOS ANGELES (AP) - California prosecutors on Wednesday dropped domestic violence charges against Justin Roiland, who created the Cartoon Network animated series “Rick and Morty” and provided the voices of the show's two title characters.
Orange County district attorney's spokeswoman Kimberly Edds said the two felony counts involving a former girlfriend were dropped “due to a lack of sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Roiland responded to the dismissal on Twitter.
“I have always known that these claims were false - and I never had any doubt that this day would come,” he said. “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 “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.”'
Roiland, 43, had been awaiting trial on charges of corporal injury and false imprisonment by menace, fraud, violence or deceit against the woman, who he was living with at the time. She was not identified in court documents.
The charges dated to May of 2020, but they apparently went unnoticed by media outlets until NBC News reported on them in January of this year.
Roiland and Dan Harmon created the animated sci-fi sitcom about a mad scientist and his grandson, both voiced by Roiland. It has aired for six seasons on Cartoon Network as part of its Adult Swim nighttime programming block, and it has been renewed for a seventh.
Adult Swim and Cartoon Network cut ties with him when the charges were reported and said his roles would be recast. 20th TV Animation and Hulu Originals, which produce two other animated series Roiland worked on, did the same.
The companies declined comment on Wednesday.
In his tweet, Roiland said he is “determined to move forward and focus both on my creative projects and restoring my good name.”