8 women accuse screenwriter Max Landis of sexual, emotional abuse
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Screenwriter Max Landis, 33, is facing allegations of sexual abuse and emotional manipulation from eight women.
The women spoke to The Daily Beast for the exposé and two of them spoke on record. The other five were identified by pseudonyms.
An eighth woman said she filed a police complaint against Landis in 2008.
She alleged that Landis, the son of director John Landis, had sexually assaulted her while she was drunk and incapacitated. The case was later dropped.
Three of the women alleged that Landis choked them and one woman alleged that he held her down and raped her. She also said that Landis would deliberately humiliate her because he wanted to have sex with her while she was crying.
Ani Baker took to social media earlier this month to warn women about Landis after she found out that videos of her still existed on his Instagram page.
She shared some of her experiences with Landis with The Daily Beast and said that she slapped Landis’ butt after the two of them had consensual sex. She said she thought it was in a playful manner but he “snapped” on her.
“He turned around and he put his hands around my throat and he got very close to my face,” Baker told the outlet. “He said, ‘I will f–king kill you. Do you understand what I’m saying? I will f–king kill you.’”
She also said that Landis asked if she wanted to see something “awful” and took out his laptop to show her a “very long list” of women he had slept with.
“At the top was a key he had made to rank each experience as enjoyable or not, exciting or not, etc.,” Baker said. “Some of the women weren’t listed by their names, just by their ethnicity and the location of the encounter, because he didn’t know their names. He scrolled to the bottom and showed me my name, with his rankings next to it.”
Julie, who dated Landis for two years, told The Daily Beast: “On multiple occasions, he’d refer to me as his ex-girlfriend in front of girls at parties we’d go to together as a couple. He’d openly critique my body in front of people and tell me privately that I had the potential to be ‘so hot’ if I committed to working out more. He’d graphically describe sex with his ex-girlfriends and rate their abilities compared to mine, both to me and to his friends and work associates.”
She alleged that Landis is “a serial rapist, gas lighter, physical, and psychological abuser” and said that he would show her “abuse and humiliation porn.”
“This lead to me allowing myself to become more and more abused,” Julie said. “He claimed that seeing me cry was a turn-on — this later turned into a routine of him yelling and humiliating me until I cried, then having sex with me while I continued to cry with no regard or effort to make things right. He’d instigate fights, belittle and upset me, just so he could have sex with me, and the real, legitimate fights ended the same way. He choked me until I passed out and did humiliating, degrading things to me that I still can’t manage to write out on paper.”
Many women in The Daily Beast exposé said Landis’ friend group is nicknamed the ‘Color Society.’
A woman named Lainey said that she felt a “sense of belonging” when Landis invited her into his inner circle only to “bully and emotionally abuse” her.
She said that the writer would openly fat shame her and said that she would throw up when finding out she’d be seeing Landis.
“I couldn’t stop shaking,” Lainey said. “He was always vicious, but everyone would say, ‘oh, that’s just how Max is. He’s a jerk. He knows it. He calls himself out on it.’ There was this conflation of self-awareness with meaningful change. In my opinion, some of the worst people in the world are those who openly admit they’re terrible, using that proclamation as a get-out-of-jail-free card. They think, ‘well, you were warned.”’
A woman named Samantha said that Landis used the Color Society to be similar to a”cult leader.”
“Here’s someone with a lot of resources and power and glamour, and he’s surrounding himself with people, basically kids who just moved to L.A. from who knows where who don’t have a network. He swoops in, and like a predator, he knows how to hook a person.”
She also said that he would “systematically try to have sex with all the women I knew. We’re not people to him.”
Samantha said she saw how Landis treated other women, saying he would “manipulate them, body-shame them and was just generally cruel.”
A woman, who used the name Kerry, said that Landis would compliment her for not eating and he would also buy her workout classes in order to help her get in the shape he wanted her to be in.
She alleged that their relationship turned abusive. “Once he choked me and told me he wanted to kill me. And I would wind up reassuring him that he wasn’t a monster when he felt bad about it. Because I felt bad that he was so sick.”
Dani Manning said she had a similar experience to Kerry’s. She said that he would “smack food” out of her hand in front of his family to make sure she didn’t eat so she could get down to his desired weight.
“The first incident that I can remember, we were at some public event and I think I laughed at something and he just started choking me to the point where my eyes were blacking out,” Manning told The Daily Beast. “I felt such confusion that I tried to leave and I was drunk and I had to just kind of wait while he tried to convince me that he didn’t mean it.”
A woman named Veronica said that she was sexually abused by Landis during a trip to Disneyland in early 2017.
She said he “physically overpowered” her as soon as they go to their hotel room. “He pinned me to one of the beds, face-down, and began touching my crotch through my leggings,” Veronica said. “I was shocked. When he saw he had scared me he laughed and said, ‘That made you uncomfortable, didn’t it?’”
When they went to Disneyland, Veronica said that he “tried to put his hand down my pants and up my shirt while we were waiting in line for rides, surrounded by children and families.”
“I was absolutely humiliated,” Veronica said. “I told him to stop and he didn’t. Halfway through the day, it escalated into him loudly shouting at me that he ‘wanted to f–k’ so we had to go back to the room.”
Veronica said that the next morning she woke up in their hotel room and found Landis “performing oral sex on me, despite expressing the night before that I wasn’t interested in sex again.”
The Daily Beast reported that, after a reassessment, Landis was removed as a producer from the upcoming Chloe Grace Moretz film Shadow in the Cloud. The decision was made prior to The Daily Beast’s report on Tuesday.
Landis was fired by Writ Large, his personal managers, on Wednesday.
“Writ Large does not represent Max Landis,” said Britton Rizzio, his former manager. “As soon as we heard about the Daily Beast article, we parted company.”
Global News reached out to Landis’ rep for comment.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.
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