Photography by: Splash News Online

“DOWNTON ABBEY” DOWNER! Facing down millions of outraged fans who hate how he ruthlessly killed off wildly popular series hero Matthew Crawley, played by DAN STEVENS, in a last-minute car crash, “Abbey” creator JULIAN FELLOWES kept insisting he had NO choice because Dan had opted leave the show – but that’s apparently a DAMN LIE, according to (are you ready, folks?) Fellowes HIMSELF!

Said My SpyWitness: “Julian was speaking at an industry panel event when he suddenly let slip that Dan ‘kept going back and forth’ about his decision to leave the show – and ‘then it was too late.’

"Industry insiders who heard Fellowes’ shocking statement took it to mean that by the time Dan opted to stay with the show, Fellowes impatiently refused to rewrite the death scene, crushing millions of devastated fans!”

Show insiders now confide that what triggered Dan’s untimely “Downton” death was a vicious war of egos between him and the imperious show creator.