“As an indigeous girl, I grew up knowing that I am the backbone of my people,” a 15-year-old Tokata Iron Eyes told a crowd of several thousand at the Women’s March in Washington DC in 2019.
The free-spirited, young, indigenous activist had been launched onto the national stage during the 2016 Standing Rock pipeline protests at the tender age of 12, and found themselves feted by stars from Angelina Jolie to Greta Thunberg.
But Tokata, who uses the pronouns she/they, has become an unrecognisable shell of their former self since falling under the influence of Ezra Miller, parents Chase Iron Eyes and Sara Jumping Eagle told The Independent.
They fear they are in a race against time to save their child from the “psychopathic, narcissistic” actor’s grip.
Mr Iron Eyes, 44, this month, lodged an order of protection against Miller on behalf of Tokata through the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Court.
He accuses Miller, 29, in court documents of grooming Tokata from the age of 12 and plying them with psychedelic drugs including LSD, ketamine, cannabis and alcohol for years.
“My family is living a nightmare,” Ms Jumping Eagle, 50, said.
They have been granted an interim court order that asks Miller to cease contact with their family, including Tokata, and not to come within 100 yards of the Iron Eyes’ residence. But their efforts to enforce the order have been unsuccessful, as Miller, who owns a sprawling farm in Vermont and travels regularly to California, evades being served. A full hearing is scheduled for 12 July.
The Flash actor has been linked to a series of disturbing incidents involving firearms, drugs and allegations of violence in recent months. Tokata’s parents say Miller exerts a “cult-like” psychological control over them through the use of illegal drugs.
Speaking from his home in North Dakota, Mr Iron Eyes, a prominent indigenous rights lawyer, told The Independent he is worried the court judgment may not come soon enough.
“They’re on a downward spiral right now. I’ve seen this type of trainwreck before, I know where it ends,” he said.
Miller first met the Iron Eyes family in 2016 while visiting the Standing Rock Reservation during protests to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The protests originated from a youth-led movement that Tokata was heavily involved with, and quickly spiralled into an international call to arms for environmental activists concerned that a spill from the pipeline would be catastrophic for communities who relied on the Missouri River for drinking water.
After a speech Tokata gave at the pipeline protests went viral online, she was introduced to Greta Thunberg and invited the renowned climate activist to come to the Dakotas to campaign against the pipeline.
Tokata’s stature as an activist has continued to grow since then. In 2021, she was interviewed by Jolie for her book Know Your Rights and Claim Them.
Mr Iron Eyes said it was around this time that Miller was first introduced to them by trusted community members.
“We thought Ezra had good intentions. But we were groomed too. We were made to trust this guy.”
In the court filing first obtained by TMZ, Mr Iron Eyes says Miller flew Tokata, another family and a female chaperone to London in 2017 to visit the studio where Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was being filmed. Tokata was 14 and Miller was 25 at the time of the trip.
Miller continued to visit the the family home, and befriended other members of the tribe.
In 2019, Mr Iron Eyes tells The Independent, Miller turned up unannounced at the family home and claimed that Tokata was depressed and should transfer from Red Cloud Indian School in South Dakota to Simon’s Rock, an accelerated private school in Massachusetts affiliated with Bard College, for their junior year.
Mr Iron Eyes says Miller implied he would cover the $60,000-a-year tuition fees.
“He used that to create a sense of psychological indebtedness.”
Tokata dropped out of Simon’s Rock late last year to spend more time at Miller’s Vermont farm where they would consume large quantities of drugs with a group of the actor’s confidantes and band members, Mr Iron Eyes claimed in our interview.
Then, at the height of the Covid lockdown in 2020, Mr Iron Eyes says Miller showed up again at their property and announced he wanted to take Tokata on a cross-country road trip.
“We didn’t let Tokata go on that trip, but to have the audacity to tell Tokata that his feelings were hurt because we said no, all of these instances point to strange and inappropriate relations with a minor,” he said.
Mr Iron Eyes said he was later told by Tokata that she was with Miller and under the influence of LSD when the actor released a video threatening to shoot members of the KKK to Instagram on 27 January.
In the clip, Miller tells members of the white supremacist organisation’s North Carolina chapter: “Look, if y’all want to die, I suggest just killing yourselves with your own guns, okay?
“Otherwise, keep doing exactly what you’re doing right now – and you know what I am talking about – and then, you know, we’ll do it for you if that’s what you want.”
Mr Iron Eyes told The Independent that Miller loaded weapons and drove to North Carolina with Tokata, to confront the KKK.
He said that the trip was an example of Miller subjecting Tokata to “high tension situations” while their consciousness was altered on psychedelic drugs in order to assert control over Tokata.
Miller also took Tokata to New Orleans in January where they participated in a voodoo ritual, according to Mr Iron Eyes.
The tipping point came when the parents travelled to Miller’s farm on 30 January to see Tokata.
“Our life was turned upside down,” Mr Iron Eyes told The Independent, saying that their child appeared to be in a drug-induced psychosis.
“When we picked Tokata up from Ezra’s farm, we were not sure that she would ever be able to function, psychologically, mentally, or intellectually at the level she had exhibited before coming into Ezra’s clutches.”
Tokata had suffered dramatic weight loss, and their voice and mannerisms had changed. Tokata told them bruises on their body had been allegedly caused by Ezra.
They took Tokata home and tried to detox them in a Lakota sweat lodge ceremony.
Soon afterwards, Tokata told the parents that she wanted a new driver’s license, ID, bank card and phone. Tokata said they were going to stay with a friend in Brooklyn, New York, to “focus on art, music and give space and time for healing.”
The parents, as per their full account on LastRealIndians, believe the plan was a ruse set up by Miller, who reunited with Tokata in New York soon afterwards.
Since then, the pair have been traveling together from Vermont to Los Angeles and Hawaii, the parents say.
They were seen together at a club in Hawaii, where Miller was later arrested for disorderly conduct and later pled no contest. Miller was also accused of allegedly throwing a chair at a bar patron and being the subject of 10 911 calls.
The parents heard Miller was in Los Angeles and flew out there on 29 May. Ms Jumping Eagle says they confronted Miller and Tokata in a street in Santa Monica and they ran off.
Ms Jumping Eagle said she eventually caught up with them and claimed that as she was trying to convince Tokata to get out of a car and come home, Miller slammed the door on her arms.
“The police eventually turned up but Ezra and Tokata had already gone,” she said.
In a series of recent Instagram posts, Tokata has refuted the parent’s claims and accused them of abuse.
Tokata now identifies as non-binary and calls themselves Gibson. They said recently that Miller has provided “loving support and invaluable protection” as she has been grieving the loss of a close friend.
Tokata’s parents say their child had previously identified as “non-binary, queer, gay”, but after spending time with Miller, she had come out as transgender. Miller also identifies as transgender nonbinary and uses the pronouns them/they.
They first learned that Tokata was using the name Gibson, which she had used as a nickname for pets and friends as a child, through a Rolling Stone article.
Miller and others have tried to portray them as transphobic, but Mr Iron Eyes insists they don’t care what Tokata wants to be called, or how she wants to identify, saying they had raised two other non-binary people who they gave “complete autonomy”.
He told The Independent that he believes Miller is gaslighting the gay-transgender community in order to have sex with young women.
“Someone from the LGBTQ world needs to take a hard look at what kind of impact Ezra Miller is having on that community because Ezra seems to be using that protective class designation as a shield to get close to young people, to create a sense of trauma-bonding,” Mr Iron Eyes told The Independent.
The music and film industries also needed to be held accountable for enabling Miller’s behaviour, Tokata’s parents say.
Miller is set to star in Warner Brothers $200m superhero blockbuster The Flash, which had been slated for release this summer but has been postponed to 2023.
But Mr Iron Eyes says efforts to speak to film executives about the actor’s “abhorrent behaviour” had come to nothing.
The family have been trying to pressure the film studio into acting via a social media campaign using the hashtag, “Trash The Flash.”
“Part of the frustration is that in the industry there’s people that saw things happening but just kept the work going, and people have enabled Ezra to continue with what they’re doing,” Ms Jumping Eagle told The Independent.
“When do we hold someone accountable despite their celebrity status? Someone who is a danger to themselves and others is being allowed to continue as is.”
According to Deadline, Warner Bros is weighing up whether to scale back promotional activity around the film’s release due to the controversy surrounding Miller, and has been trying to get help for the errant star.
Neither Warner Bros nor Miller’s media representatives have responded to requests for comment. Tokata also did not respond to requests from comment from The Independent.
A despairing Ms Jumping Eagle asked to share a message for Tokata.
“Tokata I love you, we love you - everything we are doing is because we love you and we are trying to save your life. I listen to the songs you used to sing for me and cry. I miss you. Your family and friends miss you.”