Jessica Chastain came under fire, following the announcement that Australian director, Matthew Newton (Who We Are Now), was selected to write and direct upcoming film project, Eve, which Chastain is producing under her Freckle Films banner. Now, Newton has stepped down from the film following furious backlash because of Newton’s past history with domestic abuse, stalking and intimidation of two ex-girlfriends.

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Newton released a statement about his departure from the project which read, “Yesterday I notified Jessica Chastain and the other producers on the film ‘Eve’ that I will be stepping down as director. Since the announcement of this film, the responses, which are powerful and important, have not fallen on deaf ears. I am profoundly aware that I have a responsibility to lead where I have failed in the past. 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. For the past six years, I have lived a quiet and sober life. All I can do now is try to be a living amends and hopefully contribute to the positive change occurring in our industry.”

Chastain is yet to speak out about Newton’s initial hiring, nor his stepping down. As a vocal supporter of the Time’s Up movement, birthed in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, many were surprised by Chastain’s association with Newton whose transgressions against women are well documented.


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