The recent news that the actress from Doctor Strange, Zara Phytian, was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor in the UK shocked the entertainment world. Not just because it’s a scandal involving a name linked to Marvel — even though she was little more than an extra in the 2016 film — but because it’s not an isolated episode in Hollywood.
Over the last few years, reports of cases of sexual violence involving big names in cinema are no longer rare. From actors to great directors and producers, abuse began to be exposed as more and more women felt ready to break the silence and bring light to these cases.
At the same time, we know that, unfortunately, there are many others who are still unknown to the media and the general public due to the fact that victims do not feel comfortable talking about the subject. It is a sensitive issue that involves not only physical and sexual violence itself, but also psychological abuse that almost forces this silence.
So, to highlight these cases and encourage more women to take cases of abuse to the authorities, we list here some of the cases that have shaken the film industry the most in recent years. And we remind you that, in Brazil, cases of sexual violence and abuse in general must be reported by calling 181.
7. Armie Hammer
The scandal involving actor Armie Hammer is one of the most bizarre to have surfaced in the entertainment news in recent times. Not least because the complaints were not limited to sexual abuse, but also to accusations of cannibalism. Yes, you didn’t read that wrong: on top of that, he still had a very specific fetish with human flesh.
In early 2021, an exchange of messages between the actor and a woman leaked on the internet and he appeared talking about some rather strange fetishes. In addition to saying that he liked to fantasize about rape, he claimed to enjoy things like cannibalism and even describes imagining holding the girl’s heart in his hands.
From there, other reports and messages began to emerge, including some heavier ones in which he literally describes moments of abuse and violence, even saying he used a knife against one of the girls to make her cry.
An ex-girlfriend even came to the public commenting on the matter and confirmed Hammer’s strange fetish for blood and this cannibalistic tendency and, although she said it was all done with consent, she said she had to go through a lot of therapy to get over it all. the traumas. Another woman reported being sexually assaulted or physically assaulted for hours.
The police even investigated some of these cases and Hammer himself checked himself into a rehabilitation clinic.
6. Bryan Singer
You may have noticed that one of the directors responsible for modern superhero cinema is missing from Hollywood, right? Because the scandals involving the name of Bryan Singer made the filmmaker leave the scene and become persona non grata in many places. So much so that, during the release of Bohemian Rhapsodyhis last major project, he was completely sidelined.
This is all because Singer is accused of sexual abuse by at least five people — and many of them were minors at the time. And all the cases are very similar: they were teenagers who either had a relationship with the director when he was older – which is illegal – or who were raped by him in his own work environment.
An example of this is a boy who was an extra in the movie The Apprentice, from 1998. At the time, he was 17 years old and told The Atlantic newspaper that Singer groped his sexual organ during the filming of the feature. In another case, another young man says he was raped on a yacht during a party in 2003.
Singer denies all charges.
5. Roman Polanski
One of the most famous cases of sexual violence involving the film industry is linked to director Roman Polanski, who won the Oscar for best director for The pianist. But, long before that, in 1977, he was already answering to justice for five crimes committed against a girl of just 13 years old.
According to reports at the time, Polanski would have told the girl’s mother that he was going to do a photo shoot and, arriving at the rehearsal location, began to get drunk and drug the teenager before committing the abuse. And all this would have taken place at the home of actor Jack Nicholson, who was traveling.
Polanski does not deny what happened, although he says it was all consensual – contrary to the victim’s version. However, California law considers rape to be any act with a minor under the age of 14, which still makes him a criminal. With that, the director was convicted and, after spending just over a month in detention, he left and has lived in Europe since then, avoiding visiting countries that could deport him to the United States.
4. Kevin Spacey
Another big name that disappeared from any production after a series of complaints was that of Kevin Spacey. The actor had just won a Golden Globe for his role in House of Cards when actor Anthony Rapp accused him of attempted sexual abuse when he was just 14.
In the face of what happened, other people came forward with similar reports, including by people who were working with him on the Netflix series. At least eight people linked to the production have alleged cases of sexual harassment and abuse involving the actor. All of them cited Spacey’s predatory behavior, particularly with assistants and youth.
In the face of the complaints, Netflix removed him from the series and other film projects were also canceled or continued without Spacey’s involvement.
3. Allison Mack
Another very famous and equally bizarre case involves actress Allison Mack, one of the stars of the show. smallville. That’s because, in addition to abuse and sexual violence, the story still involves a strange sect and even stories of enslavement.
The entire case revolves around NXIVM, a cult created in the United States as a self-help group that grew rapidly by recruiting people. The problem is that, in some cases, this summons served to entice young women to become sex slaves of Keith Reniere, leader of the sect, who was sentenced to 120 years in prison for all this.
And that’s where Mack was at work. In 2019, she herself admitted that she extorted and even conspired to recruit these women, knowing that they would be abused by Raniere. She was sentenced to three years in prison and the story became a documentary.
2. Woody Allen
Another great filmmaker involved in quite heavy crimes is Woody Allen. Dylan Farrow, his adopted daughter, accuses him of having molested her when she was only seven years old in a case that generated much debate in the early 1990s, not only because of the scandal itself, but because it was part of a very rocambolesque plot that turned a documentary.
At the time, Allen was dating actress Mia Farrow, with whom he had three children – one biological and two adopted, one of them being the girl who accuses him of abuse. Furthermore, Farrow had another adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, who was 21 years old at the time.
And all the trouble begins when it is discovered that Allen and Previn were having an affair. Thus, what the actor and director claims is that the report of sexual violence against the seven-year-old girl is, in fact, an invention by Farrow to hit him after discovering the betrayal with one of his daughters. Allen and Previn are married to this day.
However, Dylan has maintained his version of the case ever since and making a point of not letting this story die over time.
1. Harvey Weinstein
You may never have seen Harvey Weinstein’s name on a poster or even in a movie, but it’s certainly made him a lot of money. Considered one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, he was a producer of films such as indomitable genius, Sin City, Lord of the Rings and many of Quentin Tarantino’s projects.
And, in 2017, he became the protagonist of a not-so-beautiful story: several Hollywood celebrities came together to expose cases of violence they experienced involving Weinstein. These are cases that range from harassment to rape and whose exposure has served to encourage more victims to break their silence. It’s what powered movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up.
It all starts with a complaint from The New York Times that the producer would have harassed 13 women and raped three. Then another 80 women came with similar stories, including some famous actresses such as Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayerk and Uma Thurman.
After a long trial and all the repercussions arising from the exposure of the cases, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Source: People, Complex