The woman at the center of the sex offender case surrounding director Shane Black's The Predator has come forward to speak out. Last week, we reported on a scene that Fox axed from the movie that included Steven Wilder Striegel acting alongside star Olivia Munn. Striegel, a friend of Black's, is also a registered sex offender and, once this was brought to the attention of Fox executives by Munn, the scene was removed from the movie. Now, Paige Carnes has come forward and identified herself as the person who was sexually abused by Striegel.
In 2010, Steven Wilder Striegel plead guilty to two felonies, risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer. At the time, Paige Carnes was only 14 and was not able to speak for herself. She was simply identified as Jane Doe in court documents because she was a minor. After the news broke, Carnes decided to come forward and make a statement in the hopes that she can reclaim her identity. Here's what Carnes had to say.
"Sexual abuse makes people uncomfortable. It should make you uncomfortable. This discomfort is nothing compared to the psychological and physical suffering of those who have dealt with it. I was not able to speak for myself when I was 14. The consequences of this abuse are profound and permanent for some. When the abuse takes place with a child, it is even harder to overcome. You lose trust in everyone around you, and mainly yourself. Your abuse does not define you. With support from others and strength from within, you can overcome the label of victim and reclaim your identity. Support can come in many forms. Sometimes all it takes is one person speaking up for you, acknowledging your worth as a human being. I am extremely fortunate to have a Father and Mother that love me unconditionally. My Father has supported me in my healing and growth in ways I cannot thank him enough for."
While other cast members have come forward to speak out on the matter, Olivia Munn has been by far the most outspoken. She was the one who found out about Striegel's past and emailed Fox about it, who claim they had no knowledge of his criminal history. Munn says she felt "isolated" for blowing the whistle. Shane Black made a public apology and acknowledged that he knew about the actor's past but exercised poor judgement because he wanted to help a friend. Munn was unhappy with the apology, as Black didn't personally apologize to her directly. In her statement, Paige Carnes thanked Munn specifically for what she did.
"I am also eternally grateful for Olivia Munn's action. She spoke up for me. She took a stance for me. In turn she stood for all who have suffered like I have. To be acknowledged by a stranger, on a public platform about this issue is incredibly empowering. The positive feedback from social media towards Olivia Munn is uplifting and feels incredibly supportive for me personally. I have no shame for what was done to me. I am not the one who needs to carry that shame. My name is Paige Carnes, former Jane Doe. I hope anyone who has suffered like I have regains their voice and their humanity."
Shane Black has since seemed sorrowful for his decision and has taken full responsibility. Despite that, certain damage has already been done. It's unclear how this will ultimately affect The Predator, which hits theaters this weekend. The movie has also suffered mixed-to-poor reviews, outside of the controversy surrounding Black's decision to cast a known sex offender. This news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.