The woman at the centre of the scandal surrounding the new Predator movie has said that she’s ‘eternally grateful’ to actress Olivia Munn for speaking out about it.
Director Shane Black employed a personal friend, Steve Wilder, who had appeared in a number of his other movies, for a small role playing a jogger.
However, it later emerged that Wilder is a convicted sex offender who had groomed a 14-year-old girl online, and served six months in prison.
On discovering Wilder’s past, Olivia Munn informed the film’s studio Fox, who eventually cut his scene out of the film.
But Munn has since said that she had to ‘follow up’ her complaint against him after nothing appeared to be being done about it, and was later ‘chastised’ for not keeping quiet.
Now the victim at the centre of the scandal, Paige Carnes, now 24, has spoken to the Los Angeles Times in the wake of the scandal, in order to ‘reclaim my identity’.
“Sexual abuse makes people uncomfortable. It should make you uncomfortable. This discomfort is nothing compared to the psychological and physical suffering of those who have dealt with it,” she said.
“I was not able to speak for myself when I was 14. The consequences of this abuse are profound and permanent for some. When the abuse takes place with a child, it is even harder to overcome. You lose trust in everyone around you, and mainly yourself. Your abuse does not define you. With support from others and strength from within, you can overcome the label of victim and reclaim your identity.
“Support can come in many forms. Sometimes all it takes is one person speaking up for you, acknowledging your worth as a human being. I am extremely fortunate to have a Father and Mother that love me unconditionally. My Father has supported me in my healing and growth in ways I cannot thank him enough for
“I am also eternally grateful for Olivia Munn’s action. She spoke up for me. She took a stance for me. In turn she stood for all who have suffered like I have. To be acknowledged by a stranger, on a public platform about this issue is incredibly empowering. The positive feedback from social media towards Olivia Munn is uplifting and feels incredibly supportive for me personally.”
In a tweet, Munn said she was ‘speechless’ after reading the statement.
In an interview on Ellen this week, she said: “When I did call my costars, I got chastised the next day by the studio for telling them and ‘Why am I just not keeping it quiet? It’s all going to be okay. It got deleted. What’s the big deal?’ And I said, ‘Well, it happened.’
“I think that people expected me to be quiet because it’s my movie, but the truth is I don’t care. I don’t care if this movie gave me all the money in the world and all the power. If it cost one person’s life, they can take it. I don’t want this career.”
Black, who has said that he was misled by Wilder as to the nature of his criminal history, has since said that he has taken ‘full responsibility’ for the matter.
“I made an error in judgment that’s irresponsible — I’m not just a kid,” he told AP on the red carpet of the movie’s premiere.
“I was the captain of that ship — it’s my job to make sure that those things don’t happen. And I failed. And I may have, I did cause pain to people in the cast. That’s unacceptable. I take full responsibility. I am very deeply sorry.”
Becoming emotional, he added: “It really bothers me that this movie, which could have been these beautiful people on a beautiful night with only this, has been overshadowed in some ways by a stupid decision that I made.”