Matthew Newton has confirmed via a statement that he is stepping down from directing Jessica Chastain's new movie Eve following online backlash regarding his chequered history of assault.
'Yesterday I notified Jessica Chastain and the other producers on the film Eve that I will be stepping down as director' the 41-year-old said.
'Since the announcement of this film, the responses, which are powerful and important, have not fallen on deaf ears. I am profoundly aware that I have a responsibility to lead where I have failed in the past.
'I can never undo the harm that I’ve caused the people I’ve cared about and I carry that shame and responsibility with me every day.'
The son of Aussie entertainers Bert and Patti Newton revealed preciously that he suffers from bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder and continues to seek treatment for his issues.
'Over the past eight years, I have been working extensively with healthcare professionals to help me overcome my addiction and mental health illness,' he continued.
'For the past six years I have lived a quiet and sober life. All I can do now is try to be a living amends and hopefully contribute to the positive change occurring in our industry.'
Jessica Chastain is one of Hollywood’s most vocal speakers for the 'Time’s Up' movement, and was largely criticised online for selecting Newton – who was accused of assaulting two of his former girlfriends – to direct and write her new film.
'Jessica Chastain, what are you doing? Your new director Matthew Newton has a history of domestic and other violence,' wrote one horrified fan on Twitter.
Another followed with: 'Hey Jessica, I say this as a huge fan of your work: the Matthew Newton stuff has been especially concerning. We'd really appreciate more insight into why you'd choose to work with him'.