The underage victim at the center of The Predator scandal has come forward to identify herself.
Last week it was revealed that the film’s director, Shane Black, cast a registered sex offender and personal friend, Steve Wilder, in the movie to shoot a scene with Olivia Munn. In 2010, Wilder pleaded guilty to two felonies — risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer — and ultimately served six months in prison. The girl, who was age 14 at the time of the incident and known only as “Jane Doe,” contacted the Los Angeles Times to reclaim her identity. Her name is Paige Carnes, and she is now 24 years old.
“My purpose in making this statement is to reclaim my identity,” Carnes begins. “Sexual abuse makes people uncomfortable. It should make you uncomfortable. This discomfort is nothing compared to the psychological and physical suffering of those who have dealt with it.”
She continues, “I was not able to speak for myself when I was 14. The consequences of this abuse are profound and permanent for some. When the abuse takes place with a child, it is even harder to overcome. You lose trust in everyone around you, and mainly yourself. Your abuse does not define you. With support from others and strength from within, you can overcome the label of victim and reclaim your identity.
“Support can come in many forms. Sometimes all it takes is one person speaking up for you, acknowledging your worth as a human being. I am extremely fortunate to have a Father and Mother that love me unconditionally. My Father has supported me in my healing and growth in ways I cannot thank him enough for,” Carnes says.
After learning of Wilder’s criminal history, Munn alerted Fox, and the scene was ultimately cut; however, she was “chastised” by the studio for not keeping quiet about the controversy. Munn admitted to feeling “isolated” by cast members who didn’t have her back. While some have spoken out in support of her in recent days, what is more important is that Munn’s actions didn’t go unnoticed by Carnes.
“I am also eternally grateful for Olivia Munn’s action. She spoke up for me. She took a stance for me. In turn she stood for all who have suffered like I have,” Carnes says. “To be acknowledged by a stranger, on a public platform about this issue is incredibly empowering. The positive feedback from social media towards Olivia Munn is uplifting and feels incredibly supportive for me personally.
“I have no shame for what was done to me. I am not the one who needs to carry that shame. My name is Paige Carnes, former Jane Doe,” she concludes. “I hope anyone who has suffered like I have regains their voice and their humanity.”
Munn said she’s “speechless” over Carnes’s statement.
Wow. Speechless… Paige Carnes shows so much bravery and strength by stepping out from behind the Jane Doe title. ❤ https://t.co/t8Ce6w69Ty
— om (@oliviamunn) September 13, 2018
At the film’s L.A. premiere on Wednesday, Shane Black publicly apologized to Munn and the rest of the cast for letting them down. It remains to be seen how the scandal will affect the film at the box office this weekend.
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