Hollywood screenwriter and self-professed ‘feminist’ Max Landis has been accused of being a serial rapist and abuser of women.
Eight woman have come forward and accused Landis of physical and emotional abuse, with one of them describing him as a “serial rapist, gaslighter, physical and psychological abuser,” according to an expose by the Daily Beast.
Among his victims was his most recent ex-girlfriend Ani Easton Baker, who exposed him on Instagram last week in a bid to warn other women.
‘I’m going to give you some direct info I wish I had gotten, because the experience/aftermath of this person is really destructive, and it will be riddled with pain and emotional work that you don’t need to spend your precious energy on,’ Baker wrote.
‘If you are close to him you will think he’s ‘honest’ because he seems upfront about his shortcomings, but he’s not honest. He tells everyone a different story about his past, his ‘diagnoses’ and his behavior.
‘You’ll think he’s willing to change because he cops to his bad behavior, but he’s omitting the worst stuff, the horrifying stuff he knows you can’t handle and again, wouldn’t stand for,’ she wrote.
Dailymail.co.uk reports: Baker said she came forward after actress Anna Akana tweeted in 2017 that Landis was a ‘psychopath who sexually abused and assaults women’ and an anonymous Medium post was published in February describing a 2012 incident in which the writer alleged she was sexually assaulted by him.
The accusations against him were first made public in 2017 – mostly on social media – and date back a decade. Baker said a number of his accusers reached out to her after seeing her post on Instagram.
DailyMail.com has reached out for comment. Landis has not commented on any of the allegations made by the women in the Daily Beast article.
Landis is known for writing the screenplay Chronicle and his latest writing credit is the film Bright.
One accuser, referred to as Julie, said she was romantically involved with Landis for two years and claims he was sexually violent towards her from the beginning.
‘Max Landis is a serial rapist, gaslighter, physical and psychological abuser who tormented me for six years, long after our romantic relationship, both directly and behind my back,’ she said.
She claimed he would raise his hand pretending to hit her just to see her flinch and constantly threatened to break up with her.
Julie said he would often introduce her to girls at parties as his ex-girlfriend and would critique her body in front of others.
‘He showed me abuse and humiliation porn and constantly tested my boundaries—this became murkier and murkier as our relationship got more tumultuous, as I grew to view sex with him as the only way to receive love and connect,’ Julie said.
‘He continued to violate my boundaries into even after our relationship, and 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. 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.’
A woman only referred to as Lainey claimed Landis ‘bullied and emotionally abused’ her during their four-year friendship.
‘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,’ she said.
‘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.’
Lainey said he had cultivated an exclusive group of friends using his wealth and power but would regularly replace them when he grew tired of them.
Another ex-girlfriend, Kerry, described similar circumstances during her relationship with the screenwriter, saying he would compliment her for not eating and regularly bought her workout classes.
She claims he openly told her he’d given a former girlfriend an eating disorder but ‘I somehow didn’t identify what was happening to me as that’.
Kerry said Landis has told her he was sick and had a form of bipolar disorder.
‘Abuse is slippery. No one starts out announcing that they’re abusive, you discover it slowly,’ Kerry said. ‘But Max did, somewhat, announce that he was abusive. That was what was so disarming about his particular brand of manipulation… Max also quickly lets you know that he’s sick and this was tied to the ways in which he was abusive.
‘It caused me to often mis-file his abusive behaviors as sad indicators of his illness and, as a result, I would often wind up comforting him in regards to his own remorse over his actions.
‘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 dated him in 2007 and said: ‘There was no option of not having sex if Max wanted to and you did not’. She alleged that he once choked her to the point she started to black out and that she couldn’t even escape him after she dumped him.
‘It felt like everywhere I went wasn’t safe because he would be there and all the places I loved, he would be there. There was no escaping him, so I kind of just gave up. Because if I wanted to stay away from him, I would have to cut off all my friends and I wasn’t strong enough to do that,’ she said.
Masha Mendieta, who was an 18-year-old acting student in 2007 working on one of Landis’ productions, claims he forced her to go topless and started making sexual jokes in front of the crew.
She said she left the set and told Landis she was done with the production.
Tasha Goldthwait has also alleged that Landis subjected her to ‘physical, sexual and verbal abuse’ while she was working as a set costumer on his 2015 film Me Him Her.
‘He would talk about his penis all the time to me, brag about the size of it,’ she said.
‘On set he would touch me all the time, he would pick me up and turn me upside down and carry me around set. My shirt would come above my face and I’d be exposed. At one point we were on set with people around and he pushed me down and got on top of me on a bed. I raised my voice and told him to get off of me, and eventually managed to get him off.’
Several women say that Landis contacted them after allegations of sexual abuse surfaced in 2017. They described it as damage control because he apologized for the way he treated them.
Landis has never spoken publicly of the allegations leveled against him.
He deleted his Twitter account in 2017 when the allegations first surfaced on social media.
Landis’ father, John, is best known for directing National Lampoon’s Animal House, An American Werewolf in London and Michael Jackson’s music video for Thriller.