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Recent Academy Award winner Gary Oldman’s son Gulliver Oldman has penned an open letter defending his father from decades-old claims of domestic abuse, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Tuesday.
In the letter, which circulated on Twitter and Tumblr on Monday and Tuesday, Gulliver argued that his father is innocent of his mother’s claims that he abused her, which date back to 2001. “In the case of my father, there is only innocence. There never has been any guilt. The reality is confused in excerpts, and published half truths from years ago,” Gulliver wrote.
Gulliver accused journalists of perpetuating a “lie” by resurfacing his mother’s 17-year-old claims claims during the #MeToo movement and in advance of this year’s Academy Awards, where Oldman was up for a best actor Oscar, which he won on Sunday.
In 2001, Gary’s ex-wife, and Gulliver’s mother, Donya Fiorentino, claimed in legal documents that Gary choked her in front of their sons, Gulliver and Charlie Oldman, while she tried to call 911, and then hit her four times in the face with the telephone receiver. Gary refuted the claims during their 2001 divorce, and gained custody of their two sons at the end of the legal proceedings.
Fiorentino’s claims resurfaced during the #MeToo movement and the recent awards season, when The Daily Mail published a new interview with Fiorentino in which she reiterated her allegations and claimed the actor “stole” her children. Gary replied to the interview by calling his ex-wife a “fantastist.”
In his letter, Gulliver called Fiorentino “a sad and very troubled person most of her life” and argued that the fact that Gary was given custody of himself and Charlie was proof of his innocence. Gulliver also said he has not spoken to his mother for seven years, since he was 13 years old.
“My brother and I both have played the role of pawn on numerous occasions throughout our lives in a big game our mother has been desperately trying to play against our father,” Gulliver wrote. “On all such occasions, the only retort my father has had is the truth. Always, and thankfully so, the truth is on his side.”
Gulliver added that he is a supporter of “this movement” — presumably, the #MeToo and Time’s Up initiatives that have exposed allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood — but that his goal was to exonerate his father, not discredit the movement.
Read the full letter below.
To whom it may concern,
My name is Gulliver Oldman, and I am the son of Gary Oldman, the actor.
It has been troubling and painful to see that these false allegations against my father being written about again, especially after this was all settled years ago. There is good reason that these specific articles and accusations subsided years ago.
In my eyes it is disgusting that so called “journalists” have seen fit to spread and perpetuate the lie.
I have grown up in the world we are accustomed to now, where people are guilty until proven innocent. It’s a shame to see that “clickbait journalism” or judgement by headline, is designed to make one jump to conclusions without receiving the full range of fact that may be detailed in a piece, whether it be online or otherwise.
In the case of my father, there is only innocence. There never has been any guilt.
The reality is confused in excerpts, and published half truths from years ago.
Saddly, heartbreakingly, all of this is revisited in a very recent interview of my mother by a reporter at the Daily Mail — despite all of this having been thrown away and discredited as false years ago.
For me to write this letter is direct proof of this. Custody of children is not given to a wife beater, and under most circumstances, hardly ever a man. My having lived, full time with my father should be in itself, proof enough.
My Father is my one and true guiding light. My only hero. He is the man I aspire one day to become. If I could only become even half as great and half as pure. I was granted the good graces of his fatherhood as a child to be raised by him and only him. For that I am eternally grateful every hour of every day. I owe him the world and I owe him my life.
If it appears that publicly speaking ill of my mother something I am either fond of, or accustomed to, that is not the case. She has been a sad and very troubled person most of her life. Yes, she brought me into this world. She didn’t however, teach me how to be a part of it.
This lie, all of her lies, things she has been perpetuating and living in as “her truth” — all of this has brought about so much pain and hardship for my father and for all of us, his family united.
My brother and I both have played the role of pawn on numerous occasions throughout our lives in a big game our mother has been desperately trying to play against our father. On all such occasions, the only retort my father has had is the truth. Always, and thankfully so, the truth is on his side.
Being a full supporter of this movement, I can see how coming out with a statement to combat an allegation must look. However, I was there at the time of the “incident,” so I’d like to make this radiantly clear: it didn’t happen. Anyone who says it did is lying.
To go deeper — of my own admission and my own decision, I chose to stop speaking with my mother seven years ago at the age of thirteen. I was old enough to see that holding on to a relationship with her would damage my future, so stepping away for some time would be the only thing I saw fit.
I want only to protect my father’s character, as a person and as an actor. I know he is a wonderfully kind man, gifted beyond belief, a man who wouldn’t trade anything for the love and happiness of his family. This torment should have ended 16 years ago. In such a momentous year for his career, my father should finally be able to enjoy himself. I hope that we can please make that a possibility.
The only way to achieve that is to stop repeating, stop sharing, and stop believing the lies.
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