Actress Olivia Munn said she faced ‘threatening calls’ and considered leaving the country before coming forward with sexual misconduct allegations against director Brett Ratner. (Dec. 6)
After getting the cold shoulder from her “Predator” cast and crew for publicly revealing that director Shane Black had hired a registered sex offender to act opposite her in a scene, actress Olivia Munn got a warm embrace from Ellen DeGeneres.
In an interview set to air Tuesday, the talk show host told Munn, “Good for you for because I’m on your side. I think people should always speak up when they see something happening. I think being quiet when there’s something that needs to be addressed is the wrong move.”
Munn, 38, recounted how an acquaintance had told her after the fact that Black had cast longtime friend Steven Wilder Striegel, a convicted sex offender, to play a character who hits on her in the movie.
“He was a 38-year-old man at the time and went after a 14-year-old female relative,” she told DeGeneres. (Striegel pleaded guilty in 2010 and served six months in prison, after which he was legally required to register as a sex offender.)
“When I found out, I did call Fox and I said, ‘We have to delete the scene.’ And they did, thankfully.”
Read original story:Fox deletes scene from ‘The Predator’ after learning actor is a registered sex offender
While Munn didn’t know her source terribly well, she said, “I figured, in that moment, they weren’t calling to give me the heads-up. It was going to be something that would get out there. So I wanted to give my co-stars a heads-up so they wouldn’t be blindsided like I was.”
The day after she called her castmates, she got “chastised” for doing so by studio personnel, who wanted to know why she wasn’t “just keeping it quiet.” After all, they told her, “it got deleted. What’s the big deal?”
Munn explained why she wasn’t content to leave things there.
“When we do movies, we have this reach. It goes everywhere. There are people all over the world that see what we do,” she said. “And just that tiny drop of fame can be used to hurt an impressionable person. And that’s just not OK.”
She added, “I had no idea how bad the details of the case were and what happened to that girl until it came out in the L.A. Times on Thursday.”
The Times story detailed how a March 2009 arrest warrant alleged that Striegel had molested the unidentified Connecticut teenager, “kissing, touching Jane Doe’s breast over her clothing, rubbing her legs and stroking her neck” – and did so on more than one occasion. He also told her that he wanted to have sex with her in one email and described his sexual preferences in others. He also warned her not to tell anyone else about their correspondence, though her father found it and cut off contact.
In his response to the newspaper, Striegel stressed that he was charged for his words, not physical contact: “Nothing supported such a claim (of physical contact), and no charges in that regard were even filed. The only thing I was ever charged with were words in an email.”
Munn, who said she was threatened after accusing director Brett Ratner of sexual misconduct last year, said she believes the underlying problem is “the people who collude to keep people like this in positions of power – the people who keep turning blind eyes.”
As for her co-stars’ initial lack of support, Munn initially suspected it was because “they didn’t know what to say and wanted to stay out of the way. But privately, I did feel iced out. And I think what’s really important for people to understand is that when you see something, you have to say something. However, it’s not going to be easy. And there will be people who just get mad at you for not playing the game.”
She noted that co-star Sterling Brown did eventually tweet his support but added, “I think people expected me to be quiet because it was my movie. But the truth is, 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.”
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