Gary Oldman’s ex-wife addresses 1990s domestic abuse allegations against actor during their 'nightmare' marriage

'Our marriage was a giant car crash in which demented things happened. I lost my self-esteem'

Maya Oppenheim
Monday 05 February 2018 13:14 GMT
Oldman won Best Actor at the Golden Globes for playing Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour
Oldman won Best Actor at the Golden Globes for playing Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour (Ian West/PA Wire/PA Images)

Gary Oldman’s former wife has spoken out about what she described as their “nightmare... car crash” four-year marriage.

Donya Fiorentino, 50, who has two sons with the acclaimed actor, claimed their marriage destroyed her self-esteem and left her “broken”.

Ms Fiorentino accused the acclaimed actor of assaulting her in front of his children in papers filed to the Los Angeles Superior Court as part of divorce proceedings in 2001.

According to the New York Daily News, Ms Fiorentino said in the court papers: “As I picked up the phone to call the police, Gary put his hand on my neck and squeezed. I backed away, with the phone receiver in my hand. I tried to dial 911.

“Gary grabbed the phone receiver from my hand and hit me in the face with the telephone receiver three or four times. Both of the children were crying."

But Oldman, who just won Best Actor at the Golden Globes for playing Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, strenuously denied the accusations and claimed they were “replete with lies, innuendoes and half-truths”.

The British actor, who is now tipped for a Best Actor win at the forthcoming Oscars, was granted sole custody of their two children. His manager and producing partner, Douglas Urbanski, said the “assault never happened and charges were never filed”.

Ms Fiorentino has now addressed her tumultuous marriage to Oldman and claimed his acting prowess did not translate into his relationship skills.

"He is a great actor. Was he a great husband? No,” she told the Mail on Sunday.

"Our marriage was a giant car crash in which demented things happened. I lost my self-esteem...I was broken. I would rather get eaten by a great white shark than go through that marriage again."

Discussing the early days of their relationship, she said: "I think it's fair to say we were not the most stable people in the room.

"I had never met someone so fragile, so emotionally vulnerable. He was charming and I thought I could fix him. We fell in love... too quickly. We didn't know each other. We'd married strangers."

Oldman, who was born in New Cross in south east London, is now on his fifth marriage, to Gisele Schmidt. He previously married jazz singer Alexandra Edenborough, fellow Oscar nominee Lesley Manville, and actor Uma Thurman.

In 2014, Oldman came in for fierce criticism after giving a Playboy interview in which he defended Mel Gibson’s infamous anti-Semitic rant during which Gibson claimed “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" while being arrested in 2006.

In 2011, Gibson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanour charge of battering his former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. Recorded tapes allegedly captured Gibson threatening Ms Grigorieva by telling her: “You look like a f****** pig in heat. If you get raped by a pack of n******, it will be your fault.”

Oldman later released an apology for his comments in an open letter to the Anti-Defamation League. He said: “I am deeply remorseful that comments I recently made in the Playboy Interview were offensive to many Jewish people. Upon reading my comments in print - I see how insensitive they may be, and how they may indeed contribute to the furtherance of a false stereotype.”

The actor’s illustrious acting career spans four decades and includes roles such as Sid Vicious in Sid And Nancy, George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Harry Potter's Sirius Black.

Darkest Hour - Trailer 2

Oldman declined to comment to The Independent via his spokesperson. He said: "I would prefer not to comment on this matter. It was a long time ago and I went through a thorough legal process who ruled on this sad and painful issue. Any further discussion is truly hurtful to me and my boys and I will not put them through this again."

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