Jessica Chastain Defends Speaking Out Against Bryan Singer: 'I'm Going to Speak My Mind'
Jessica Chastain tweeted out an article highlighting similar accusations lodged against Singer
Following reports of alleged decades of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Brett Ratner, Chastain tweeted out an article highlighting similar accusations lodged against Singer, writing “Let us not forget.”
“I do not feel beholden to anything,” Chastain told The Daily Beast of any potential blowback from the tweet. “I’m going to speak my mind about any injustice that I see. I’m not afraid of anything in terms of that. And I think the greatest myth that an industry can create is to make people feel like they’re easily replaceable. I’m not going to allow that into my life.”
Chastain, 40, is set to star in next year’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the latest saga in Fox’s ongoing Marvel franchise — which Singer is signed on to as producer.
“I actually chose to do X-Men because I’m working with Simon Kinberg, who’s also a first-time filmmaker who I met on The Martian, and is an incredible writer and producer,” she said. “He wrote this script—which I can’t say much about, because it’s X-Men—and there are many powerful female roles in this story that Simon is telling. And all of my dealings were with Simon and Hutch [Parker, another producer], who were on set.”
Singer has had multiple accusations of sexual misconduct levied against him.
In 2014, aspiring model and actor Michael Egan filed a civil suit against the director, claiming he forced him into sex during parties in California and Hawaii in the late 1990s. Singer’s attorney, Marty Singer, called the lawsuit “absurd and defamatory.” Singer also submitted evidence he claimed proved he was not in Hawaii at the time of the alleged assault. Egan later parted ways with his attorney after he said he was pressured into taking a settlement. He ultimately dropped the lawsuit, saying that while his claims had merit, he could not find a new lawyer to represent him. In 2015, Egan was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to committing securities and wire fraud, according to Variety.
Later in 2014, a second accuser filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against Singer and entertainment executive Gary Goddard. When he was 17, the man claimed in the lawsuit, Singer fondled him and tried to force him to have sex. Singer and Goddard both vehemently denied the allegations.
The anonymous accuser was represented by Jeff Herman, the same lawyer who represented Egan. “After the substance of Mr. Herman’s previous defamatory and fabricated filing in Hawaii was disproved based on unassailable evidence, Mr. Herman’s desperation has led him to fabricate these new anonymous accusations against Mr. Singer, which we will also prove to be completely false,” Singer’s attorney said in a statement.
A Los Angeles court accepted Singer’s motion to dismiss on the grounds that there was no legal basis for the suit, and that it was improperly brought.
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Chastain told The Daily Beast she feels fortunate to be in a position where she can choose who she wants to work with.
“Because of the timing of when I came into the industry, I decided for me—my career could go away tomorrow, and I’ll do something else, and I’ll be okay,” she explained. “Because I was okay before I came into this career. For me, there’s a lot that I have that isn’t acting. I made a decision very early on to not work with people that I felt abused their positions, and didn’t create a healthy environment for those around them.”
Chastain has been vocal about her feelings when it comes to Hollywood’s ongoing sexual abuse scandals, saying she’s encouraged by the swift action that has been taken since the various allegations have come to light.
“I feel hopeful. I feel happy,” she said. “I know it’s devastating, it’s terrible, it’s heartbreaking. These stories that are coming out are just so sad. But what makes me hopeful is that people are taking responsibility for their silence, their inaction.”
She continued: “In no way should we, as a society, look at the victims and show any sense of blame. But anyone involved in an industry where there is abuse like this, you are part of the problem. And your inaction makes you complicit. So what’s happening now is…I think everyone is starting to look at where they fit in this industry.”