Taylor Swift Cast In New David O. Russell Movie — Resurfacing Admitted Sexual Assault Of His Trans Niece

Photo: DFree / S_Buckley / Shutterstock
Taylor Swift and David O. Russell

Amid announcements that Taylor Swift will appear alongside Margot Robbie, Christian Bale and John David Washington in David O. Russell’s latest film, the director’s disturbing past is slowly resurfacing.

The Golden Globe winner has managed to recruit a star-studded cast that also includes Rami Malek, Zoe Saldana, Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Robert De Niro, Michael Shannon and Timothy Olyphant.

The announcement of Swift's involvement in Russell's new project has some people fuming over abuses and misconduct of yet another leading movie mogul being overlooked, betraying how little we’ve achieved in terms of accountability in the film industry.

What did David O. Russell do?

In 2011, Russell — best known for his directorial role in “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle” — admitted to groping his transgender niece after she accused him of sexual assault.

According to a police report filed by Russell’s niece, Nicole Peloquin, the director sexually assaulted the then 19-year-old at a hotel gym in Florida.

Peloquin claimed that Russell was helping her with abdominal exercises and “hovered” his hand above her genital area. He also allegedly probed her about hormone therapy and her increased breast size before reaching his hands under her shirt and feeling her breasts.

Russell confirmed the incident had occurred but claimed that Peloquin was "acting very provocative toward him" and invited him to feel her breasts. He also admitted to being "curious about the breast enhancement."

The case was closed without any charges being filed against Russell because the alleged assault wasn’t witnessed by police, a disturbing reflection of how vulnerable transgender women are to sexual assault and having allegations overlooked.

RELATED: Charisma Carpenter Accuses Joss Whedon Of Abusing His Power On Set Of 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'

Russell has also been reported to be aggressive onset.

The director has been the subject of several allegations of on-set abuse. Prior to the allegations made by Russell’s niece, the director had a well-established reputation for being difficult to work with.

On the set of “Three Kings,” conflicts between Russell and George Clooney got so heated that Clooney alleges the director headbutted him.

Resurfaced footage from the set of Russell’s 2004 film “I Heart Huckabees” shows Russell aggressively shouting at actress Lily Tomlin before throwing things at her and storming offset. However, Tomlin did later state the pair made up.

RELATED: Former Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz Accused Of Sexually Assaulting His Nanny

Russell and Amy Adams are also said to have clashed on the set of "American Hustle."

When leaked Sony emails revealed that male castmates on the 2013 film “American Hustle” were paid more than their female co-stars, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams both expressed their disappointment with the pay gap.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

Adams said she had cried regularly while shooting the movie that would later earn her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

“I was really just devastated on set,” said Adams. “I mean, not every day, but most. Jennifer doesn’t take any of it on. She’s Teflon. And I am not Teflon.”

The emails also allegedly revealed that Adams was “so abused” that Christian Bale was forced to intervene and stop the director.

Has David O. Russell faced any consequences for his behavior?

Amid the Harvey Weinstein scandal in 2017, Russell faced a judgment day of sorts, albeit short-lived, when his project was pulled due to its association with The Weinstein Company.

However, Russell has faced few consequences for his own actions, leaving some film fans particularly perplexed by his ability to keep attracting stars who have been outspoken on sexual abuse to his casts.

RELATED: Why Piers Morgan Needs To Stop Belittling Women Of Color Like Naomi Osaka And Meghan Markle

Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.