Max Landis Accused Of Rape, Sexual Assault & Psychological Abuse By 8 Women

Photo: George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty Images.
Director and screenwriter Max Landis — who is the son of American Werewolf in London helmer John Landis — is accused by different women of a variety of abuses including sexual assault in a new report from The Daily Beast. The accusations date back over a decade, before Landis would rise to fame with the screenplay for his superhero movie Chronicle.
One ex-girlfriend, who is known as “Julie” in The Daily Beast article, claims Landis belittled and body-shamed her in front of other people. She also says he would sometimes "choke" her until she “passed out,” allowing him to do "humiliating, degrading things" to her body. In a statement to the Daily Beast, she alleged that Landis — whom she described in her statement as a "a serial rapist, gaslighter, physical, and psychological abuser" — raped her.
Advertisement
“[If] any of this still feels like a blurred lines scenario, let me assure you that he did hold me down and rape me while I said ‘no’ over and over,” Julie wrote. “Afterwards I punched him in the shoulder and I told him, ‘When someone says no, you’re supposed to stop. What you just did is what they call rape.’ He said he thought we were playing a game, and that I liked it. He didn’t care.”
Many of the sources say that Landis wielded his social power — which he claimed as leader of his friend group the “Colour Society” — in order to systematically bully those around him. This included his now ex-girlfriends as well as other friends whom he would discard from his friend group routinely.
The article also details Landis' alleged obsession with controlling women's bodies. Kerry (also not her real name), another ex-girlfriend of Landis, claimed that he criticized her body routinely during their relationship. He allegedly complimented her for “not eating” and told her that he had given a previous ex-girlfriend an “eating disorder.” (Landis bragged about doing this to an ex-girlfriend in a 2013 interview with blog Shelby Sells, claiming that he once cheated on an ex whom he also gave "gave a crippling social anxiety, self-loathing, body dysmorphia, eating disorder to.")
Dani Manning, who says she dated Landis in 2007, alleged he also routinely criticized her appearance, especially her weight, and would “smack food” out of her hand in front of family. Manning also claimed that Landis choked her and stated "there was no option of not having sex if Max wanted to and you did not.”
Advertisement
Another incident of alleged sexual violence occurred in 2008, when Landis was a student at the University of Miami. He was reportedly under investigation at Miami’s Domestic Violence Division after a woman named Callie Ray made a sexual assault accusation against him. Ray eventually dropped the case, but pointed the Daily Beast to alleged witness and friend Ashley Heffington Dionne, who claims she saw Landis pretend to be Ray’s then-boyfriend and proceed to sexually assault her on a couch while Ray was heavily intoxicated.
Other women claim that Landis pressured them or coerced them into sexual acts, including Ani Baker, whom alleges she attempted to help Landis after the commencement of the #MeToo movement in 2017 led to social media posts about Landis' allegedly bad behavior. When she corroborated stories that she felt were far worse than Landis claimed them to be, she chose to sever her relationship with him.
This is not the first time the world is hearing of Landis' alleged actions. In 2017, a slew of tweets about Landis — who penned the Netflix action movie Bright accused him of abuse and assault against women. However, until the Daily Beast's piece, no official report about Landis was published. The Hollywood Reporter was said to have been working on a story about Landis, but it never materialized.
Since the publication of the Daily Beast article, many who have worked with Landis have come out to condemn him for his actions.
"I 100% believe every word of this article about Max," wrote Josh Trank, director of Chronicle. "I banned him from visiting principal photography of Chronicle, and I haven't spoken to him since 2012. To read about the terror he's inflicted on so many women since then makes me sick to my stomach. Heartbroken beyond measure."
Advertisement
"Lax Mantis was shitty to me when I met him at 9 and was shitty again to me on here when I was 29," said Mara Wilson, who starred in movies like Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda as a child. "I just know that if he ever pulled that 'don’t you know who my dad is' shit on me my response would’ve been 'Yes, he is why I, as a child actor, was protected by child labor laws.'"
In a separate tweet, she claimed he acted with "senseless cruelty" towards friends of hers.
Podcaster Matt Cohen also apologized for his past friendship with Landis.
"The more I learn, the sorrier I am that I was ever friends with Max Landis (and I’m already at maximum guilt/shame) In the past, I’ve spoken about my own role/path to understanding. Today, I 1000 percent support the brave women speaking out and can attest to what they say."
Landis was reportedly removed as a producer on his upcoming film Shadow in the Cloud. A rep for the film told the Daily Beast that "after the allegations surfaced and some time went by, the producers renegotiated with Landis to have him removed as a producer, and to allow for extensive re-writes by Roseanne Liang at the time she was hired. He has not been on set and will not be involved in the film in any way."
Advertisement
"We’ve completely distanced ourselves from him...We've rewritten it several times now. His name is kind of far away from the project."
Landis' film Deeper, which he wrote and was set to star Idris Elba, is no longer on attached studio MGM's slate, reports Variety. According to Variety, Landis — who was signed by talent agency CAA in 2016 — is no longer repped there, though it is unclear when the working relationship ended. Landis' name also does not appear on the IMDb page for Bright's sequel.
Per Deadline, Landis has been dropped by managers at Writ Large following the Daily Beast allegations.
Refinery29 has reached out to Landis' attorney for comment.
This is a developing story.
Advertisement

More from News