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Image for article titled Acclaimed Director Cary Fukunaga Accused of Sexual Harassment

Photo: Joel C Ryan (AP)

Since the beginning of time, the entertainment industry has had its fair share of ultra-exclusive social clubs—the Brat Pack, the Rat Pack, the Frat Pack, and finally, some measure of all three: the male directors who’ve either perpetrated or been accused of sexual harassment. Because what is Hollywood if not a playground for predatory behavior?

Late last week, director Cary Joji Fukunaga, critically lauded for the latest James Bond film, Jane Eyre, and the first season of HBO’s True Detectivesbecame the latest inductee into the predators’ club after three young women accused the 44-year-old director of “grooming” them during respective projects.

It all started when Fukunaga, like any self-respecting male ally™, took to his Instagram story to comment on the news that Roe v. Wade is likely to be overturned: “Meanwhile, in America, the Supreme Court is about to push us one step closer to war with ourselves…by legitimizing a war against women’s rights,” he wrote.

Rachelle Vinberg, a 23-year-old actress and skater, promptly reposted a screenshot of Fukunaga’s story, adding: “So he posted this today. And to it pisses me off cause he literally doesn’t care about women. He only traumatizes them. I’ve spoken to many girls. Fuck you Cary.”

Vinberg also shared a selfie with Fukunaga, writing: “I spent many years scared of him. Mans is a groomer and has been doing this shit for years. Beware women.”

In the days that followed, Venberg continued via a series of videos and posts on her Instagram story, now saved as highlights on her profile as Cary part 1 and “Cary 2.” She explained that she first met Fukunaga on a commercial shoot when she’d just turned 18. She alleged that he befriended her and often messaged her via Instagram. As seen in screenshots of their conversations, Fukunaga engaged Vinberg in discussions about loneliness and his past romantic history, and even sent her posts that included an overgrown vegetable resembling a penis. When in public together, Fukunaga also allegedly told Vinberg to lie about who she was to him.

“He’d like tell me to pretend I was his cousin, or niece, or sister in front of other people,” she said in one video.

Their relationship continued until she was 21 years old, and Vinberg said that by its end, they had allegedly been “completely fully intimate” and that it had to remain a secret. Otherwise, “it would look bad for him.”

“He later bragged to some people that he was the second person I’d ever been with,” she recalled.

Vinberg said she’s since sought therapy and was diagnosed with PTSD. She also alleged that people close to Fukunaga are well aware that he’s maintained relationships with young women: “There are plenty of people that work for him that know that he’s a predator and they all talk about it amongst themselves behind his back. They all know, but they don’t do anything.”

She said she tried to contact Fukunaga to discuss how their relationship was inappropriate, to no avail. “I tried to reach out to him in the past about how he made me feel and he’s never taken accountability, he’s basically brushed me off, gaslit me,” she said in another video. “Then I found out about all these other girls he did the same thing to and was like ‘Oh, this is a pattern.'”

Two of those women, twin sisters Hannah and Cailin Loesch, have since come forward via Twitter to allege similar behavior. The sisters wrote that they were 20 years old when they met Fukunaga on the set of Netflix’s Maniaca psychological dark comedy in 2018. For three years after, Fukunaga allegedly pursued both of them—inviting them to spend time with him in London while he worked on No Time To Die, and later to his farmhouse during the quarantine. They said Fukunaga also invited himself to their family home in Pennsylvania. At one point during his stay, they said, the three sat in a hot tub, where Fukunaga asked the pair if they were virgins and whether they’d ever participate in a threesome, suggesting that incest is fine “if all parties are okay with it.”

Fukunaga alleges continued to invite the twins to spend time with him, despite a few instances of physical intimacy transpiring between them—apart from head massages—and the sisters’ assertion that they didn’t intend to have sex with anyone they weren’t in relationships with. They then recalled an instance wherein he invited them to his penthouse in New York City where he’d show them No Time To Diewhich had not yet been released at the time.

“Neither of us knew how to say no when he motioned to either side of him on the pillow. As we watched the film, he put his hand up underneath Cailin’s skirt and massaged gently. After he closed his laptop, he grabbed her and pulled her on top of him, Hannah still right there. Cailin lie there limply, just as terrified of what it would say about her if she followed his lead as it would if she didn’t. Then, she climbed off. He seemed disappointed, but invited us both to ‘drop acid’ and do molly at his house upstate that weekend,” the sisters wrote.

After leaving, Cailin returned the next morning to tell Fukunaga she didn’t plan on continuing to speak with him. She said he asked if she knew “how bad this would look” if it came out post-MeToo movement. It was the last time either of the sisters saw Fukunaga.

On Saturday, the Loesch twins posted a selfie with Venberg on Twitter, writing:

“In this together. We want to thank every one of you who has reached out to us with love and support. It means more than you know and has validated our decision to speak up in spite of fear. Our DMs are always open and we want you to know that we are here for all of you, too.”

Jezebel has reached out to Fukunaga’s representatives, as well as Rachelle Vinberg and Cailin and Hannah Loesch for comment. None had responded by publication time.

In the wake of these claims, previous reports that allege Fukunaga fired Raeden Greer, a young actress who was hired to play a stripper in an episode of True Detectivefor refusing to appear topless have also resurfaced.

Such stories stand in stark contrast to the kind of director Fukunaga claims to be. He was famously praised for bringing on Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge to help with the No Time To Die script in order to ensure the film’s “female characters [are] more than just contrivances.”

“You can’t change Bond overnight into a different person. But you can definitely change the world around him and the way he has to function in that world,” Fukunaga told The Hollywood Reporter. Interesting, considering it’s now painstakingly clear that at least a few young women have some thoughts about how Fukunaga should function in this one.

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