Olivia Munn Speaks Out Against Director for Casting Sex Offender

Olivia Munn took a stand.

According to a new report from The Los Angeles Timesthe actress, who came forward publicly with allegations against film producer and director Brett Ratnerlast November, spoke up again—this time about a registered sex offender she discovered she was acting with in Shane Black‘s The Predator.

Per the TimesSteven Wilder Striegel was cast in the film for a scene with Munn, in which he was to play “a jogger who repeatedly hits on Munn’s character.” In August, the actress reportedly learned of Striegel’s past. According to the newspaper, the actor was arrested in 2009 and pleaded guilty in 2010 to “risk of injury to a child” and “enticing a minor by computer,” for which he reportedly served six months in prison.

According to the newspaper, the charges stem from allegations involving a 14-year-old female. Striegel described her to the newspaper as a distant relative and said that he “made the the very bad judgement call of telling her in these emails that she was attractive, and sexy, and not a failure, etc.” to boost her confidence because, according to him, she was facing several problems, including pressure to do drugs and alcohol and that she had started to have sex. He further told the Times that he made it clear they could not have a romantic relationship.

The Times further reported that a March 2009 arrest warrant affidavit alleged they had physical contact included “kissing, touching Doe’s breast over her clothing, rubbing her legs and stroking her neck.” The Times also reported that Striegel described his sexual preferences in other alleged correspondence with the unnamed minor. However, Striegel denied any alleged physical contact to the newspaper. “Nothing supported such a claim, and no charges in that regard were even filed,” he told the Times. “The only thing I was ever charged with were words in an email.”

Striegel told the Times that he and Black have known each other for 14 years and that the director “was aware of the facts.” “Shane can speak for himself, but I’m quite certain that if he felt I was a danger in any way to have around, he would not have,” he said to the newspaper.

“I personally chose to help a friend,” Black explained to the newspaper. “I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly.”

He also told the newspaper that he believed the actor was “caught up in a bad situation versus something lecherous.”

Once Munn found out, she did not take the news lightly and told the newspaper it was “both surprising and unsettling” that Black did not share the information with the cast, crew or studio at any point in the production.

“Our studio was not aware of Mr. Striegel’s background when he was hired,” a Fox spokesperson said in a statement to the newspaper. “We were not aware of his background during the casting process due to legal limitations that impede studios from running background checks on actors.”

After notifying the studio in August, Munn told the Times she was “relieved” his scene was deleted from the movie before it came out.

Calling it an “enormously unfortunate chapter” in his life, Striegel added to the Times, “If I had even an inkling that my involvement with ‘The Predator’ would be a point of difficulty for Shane Black, or cast any kind of shadow over a movie that I wish only great success for, I would, of course, never have been involved in any capacity.”

Meanwhile, Munn referenced this entire situation on social media, telling fans, “My mom taught me to never be afraid to stand up and say ‘Wait, that’s not okay.’ Even if you find yourself standing alone, speak up. Even if people get mad at you, speak up. It is not our job to stay silent so that others can stay comfortable. Use your voice to shape the world or others will continue to shape it for us.”

The Predator debuts in theaters on September 14.

Source: The Los Angeles Times and E! News

 

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