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Cary Fukunaga, Maniac premiere
Via Wikimedia Commons

Acclaimed filmmaker Cary Fukunaga accused of sexual harassment

Several women have made allegations of harassment and ‘grooming’ against the True Detective and James Bond director

Cary Joji Fukunaga has been accused of sexual harassment and “grooming” by three women, who claim that they were targeted by the American filmmaker on separate projects. 

Known for the James Bond film No Time To Die, and the first season of True Detective, the 44-year-old director and screenwriter was initially called out by the 23-year-old actor, member of Skate Kitchen, and former Dazed 100er Rachelle Vinberg. Her allegations came in response to Fukunaga’s comments on the Supreme Court’s leaked draft on overturning Roe v Wade: “Meanwhile, in America, the Supreme Court is about to push us one step closer to war with ourselves… by legitimising a war against women’s rights.”

“So he posted this today… and it pisses me off cause he literally doesn’t care about women,” Vinberg wrote alongside a screenshot of Fukunaga’s statement. “He only traumatises them. I’ve spoken to many girls. Fuck you Cary.”

Vinberg has gone on to post additional details of her relationship with Cary – including videos, and photos of the pair together – that are saved on her public Instagram, under “Cary part 1” and “Cary pt 2”. She explains that they met on a shoot when she was 18, and continued to message over social media. The secret relationship became “completely fully intimate” before it ended when she was 21 years old.

In the Instagram videos, Vinberg also shows a tattoo Fukunaga allegedly gave her when she was 18, explaining that it’s something he likes to do as a way of “marking women”, and shares DMs with other victims of his alleged sexual harassment, who say he’s done the same thing. “I tried to reach out to him in the past about how he made me feel and he’s never taken accountability,” she adds. “He’s basically brushed me off, gaslit me… Then I found out about all these other girls he did the same thing to and was like ‘oh, this is a pattern.’”

So far, two other women have come forward with allegations about Fukunaga’s behaviour. Twins Hannah and Cailin Loesch published a blog post on May 5, “in solidarity with Rachelle Vinberg”, in which they claim that they were 20 when they met the director, on the set of his Jonah Hill-starring Netflix show, Maniac.

Over the next three years, we’d all three be wrapped up [in] a hot-and-cold relationship that the two of us hoped would mould itself into one of two categories: a simple trio of friends, or a romantic relationship between one of us and Cary,” the Loesch twins allege. Allegedly, he invited them to stay with him in London while shooting No Time To Die, and to his farmhouse during quarantine. When they turned him down, they say, he invited himself to their parents’ home in Pennsylvania.

“The red flags were there, but we chose to let them slide,” they add. The three then allegedly ended up in a hot tub, where they say he asked them if they were virgins, their thoughts on threesomes, and apparently claimed that incest is fine “if all parties are okay with it”. Weeks later, they say that they met him at his NYC penthouse, where they watched the unreleased No Time To Die in his bed.

“The point of writing it is not to start a witch hunt directed at Cary, or any one man,” the sisters conclude. “We will never even know for sure what his intentions were. We only know what happened and how it made us feel. We’re sharing it because we know we aren’t alone in our experience, and the way it has stayed with us and worn on our hearts.”

The Loesch twins have since posted a selfie with Rachelle Vinberg to Twitter, captioned: “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.”

Fukunaga has previously billed himself as a supporter of women and champion of their rights and representation in the film industry – notably bringing Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge onto the James Bond writing team to “make the female characters more than just contrivances” (according to an interview in the Hollywood Reporter). However, the recent allegations have also resurfaced claims from actor Raeden Greer, who says she was fired from a small role on True Detective after Fukunaga tried to pressure her to appear nude, despite no contractual obligation.

Fukunaga is yet to publicly comment on the latest allegations.