Director Matthew Newton exits Jessica Chastain film after backlash

Brunilde Fioravanti
Agosto 11, 2018

"I am profoundly aware that I have a responsibility to lead where I have failed in the past", Newton said in a statement. "I can never undo the harm that I've caused the people I've cared about and I carry that shame and responsibility with me every day".

"Over the past eight years, I have been working extensively with healthcare professionals to help me overcome my addiction and mental health illness", the director, who suffers from bipolar disorder, continued. "For the past six years I have lived a quiet and sober life". He released a statement addressing the criticisms, acknowledging his past mistakes, the efforts he's made to change and his desire to do better in the future and contribute to the positive change occurring in the industry.

In 2007, he was charged with assaulting his former girlfriend, ex Neighbours star Brooke Satchwell.

The conviction was later quashed, but in 2010 another partner, Rachael Taylor, obtained a two-year domestic violence court order against Newton after an alleged assault.

His decision to step away from the Chastain project came after several weeks of growing objection to his involvement.

Matthew Newton has stepped down as the director of upcoming action film Eve, starring Jessica Chastain, after backlash related to his history of violence.

"Matthew is wonderfully adept at crafting complex and relatable characters", Chastain said.

Chastain added that she and the film's producer Kelly Carmichael were "fans of his work" and were "thrilled to be partnering with him".

Newton was equally effusive in his appreciation of Chastain.

"Yesterday I notified Jessica Chastain and the other producers on the film "Eve" that I will be stepping down as director". "When I wrote Eve, an intelligent, strong, and incredibly capable character, she was my immediate first choice to bring her to life".

After her decision to work with Newton, however, the two-time Oscar nominee fielded accusations of hypocrisy.

But in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal in Hollywood past year, Chastain said she chose to work in situations and with people where "there isn't a question about whether or not abuse has taken place".

In an interview conducted earlier this year with Australia's The Feed, Chastain spoke about ensuring she doesn't work with abusers on her film sets.

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