Gary Oldman scored his first Academy Award on Sunday. Now, his son has some choice words for anyone attacking the Best Actor winner’s character.
Some background is in order. The senior Oldman has faced backlash during the 2017/2018 awards season over an alleged domestic abuse incident stemming back to 2001. The allegation was brought to bear by ex-wife Donya Fiorentino, with whom Oldman had two children.
The details of the case are quite involved, though it should be noted that Oldman never faced any criminal charges and, when he and Fiorentino divorced, he was granted full custody of their two children. Fiorentino, for her part, reminded the world as recently as Monday that she sees her ex-husband as an “abuser.”
Responding to Oldman’s Best Actor win, Fiorentino’s statement to TMZ brought up the ongoing social changes that have done so much to root out toxic public figures. She asked, “What happened to the #MeToo movement?”
Oldman faced similar criticisms throughout the awards season, and Fiorentino wasn’t alone in pointing back to that after Sunday’s awards ceremony. Now, Oldman’s 20-year-old son Gulliver — one of the two he shares with Fiorentino — who says he was present when the 2001 incident allegedly occurred, has come to the defense of his father in an open letter.
“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,” the younger Oldman writes.
“In the case of my father, there is only innocence. There never has been any guilt.”
He goes on to reference the fact that his father was granted custody of both the children he had with Fiorentino, noting that such a judgment doesn’t typically fall in favor of a “wife beater.” That he lived with his father after the divorce is “proof enough.”
Later, he describes how he and his brother both “have played the role of pawn on numerous occasions … in a big game our mother has been desperately trying to play against our father.” Fiorentino, he says, has been “a sad and very troubled person most of her life.”
Toward the end, he acknowledges the changes that have been brought about by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and the challenge of defending a man accused of wrongdoing in the current climate. But he also makes clear an important distinction in his relationship to this situation: He was present when it allegedly happened.
“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.”
You can read Gulliver Oldman’s full letter below.