'I am part of the problem'

Director Morgan Spurlock details past sexual misconduct in statement

by Amber Wilkinson

Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me 2 is due to screen at Sundance next month
Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me 2 is due to screen at Sundance next month Photo: Warrior Poets
Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock released an online statement yesterday, citing his own sexual misconduct and extramarital affairs, entitled, "I am part of the problem".

His statement - which comes from his verified Twitter account - begins: "As I sit around watching hero after hero, man after man, fall at the realization of their past indiscretions, I don’t sit by and wonder “who will be next?” I wonder, “when will they come for me?”

The 47-year-old, whose 2004 documentary about the health effects of 'super-sizing' McDonald's meals for a month went on to be Oscar nominated, goes on to detail issues stretching back to his college years. He wrote: "When I was in college, a girl who I hooked up with on a one night stand accused me of rape. Not outright. There were no charges or investigations, but she wrote about the instance in a short story writing class and called me by name. A female friend who was in the class told me about it afterwards."

The director - who is due to return to Sundance's Spotlight section with Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! next month, after it premiered in Toronto - goes on to reveal that he once settled a "verbal sexual harassment" allegation in his office. He wrote: "When she decided to quit, she came to me and said if I didn’t pay her a settlement, she would tell everyone. Being who I was, it was the last thing I wanted, so of course, I paid. I paid for peace of mind. I paid for her silence and cooperation. Most of all, I paid so I could remain who I was."

He goes on to add that he has been unfaithful to every wife and girlfriend that he has ever had, before adding: "I hurt them. And I hate it. But it didn’t make me stop."

Turning to the potential causes of his behaviour, Spurlock says he was sexually abused as a boy and teenager and reveals that "I haven’t been sober for more than a week in 30 years."

He ends his post: "I will do better. I will be better. I believe we all can.

"The only individual I have control over is me. So starting today, I’m going to be more honest with you and myself. I’m going to lay it all out in the open. Maybe that will be a start. Who knows. But I do know I've talked enough in my life ... I'm finally ready to listen."

We have contacted Sundance for comment re the screenings of Super Size Me 2.

Last night, Warrior Poets, the production company Spurlock co-founded with Jeremy Chilnick, issued a statement saying the director would be "stepping down effective immediately”. The joint statement from Chilnick and company partner Matthew Galkin added: “We will continue to lead the company as equal partners, producing, distributing & creating from our independent production company.”

Spurlock's comments come after shamed movie mogul Harvey Weinstein denied further sexual misconduct accusations.

Actress Salma Hayek wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times, in which she alleges that Weinstein once told her: "I will kill you, don't think I can't."

She also claims that she was forced to repeatedly reject his sexual advances, writing: "No to me taking a shower with him.

"No to letting him watch me take a shower.

"No to letting him give me a massage.

"No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage.

"No to letting him give me oral sex.

"No to my getting naked with another woman"

She also alleges that he threatened to shut down her film Frida unless she filmed a naked sex scene with another female star.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex and today his spokesperson issued a further statement denying Hayek's allegations (read it in full at US Today).

It read: "Mr Weinstein regards Salma Hayek as a first-class actress and cast her in several of his movies, among them Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Dogma and Studio 54. He was very proud of her best-actress Academy Award nomination for Frida and continues to support her work."

And added: "Mr Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female co-star and he was not there for the filming. However, that was part of the story, as Frida Kahlo was bisexual and the more significant sex scene in the movie was choreographed by Ms Hayek with Geoffrey Rush. The original unibrow used was an issue because it diverted attention from the performances. All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired."

The statement concludes: "By Mr Weinstein’s own admission, his boorish behaviour following a screening of Frida was prompted by his disappointment in the cut of the movie—and a reason he took a firm hand in the final edit, alongside the very skilled director Julie Taymor."

In a further development, actor Matt Damon has spoken out against Weinstein. He told ABC News “I knew I wouldn’t want him married to anyone close to me.”

He added: “But that was the extent of what we knew. I mean, and that wasn’t a surprise to anybody. So when you hear Harvey this, Harvey that — I mean, look at the guy. Of course he’s a womaniser.”

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