When Olivia Munn first spoke out about the sex offender she shared the screen with in The Predator, she did so alone. While her male director and co-stars stayed silent at least initially (some of them remaining so), many on social media placed themselves firmly on Team Olivia, thanking the actress for fighting this fight, even alone.
Now, another woman has come forward to publicly say her thanks: Paige Carnes, the "Jane Doe" victim of Steven Wilder Striegel.
Carnes was 14 years old when Striegel, a distant cousin, attempted to lure her into a sexual relationship online. For that, he plead guilty to two felonies: risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer. He served six months in jail.
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, one she said was made to "reclaim [her] identity," Carnes thanked her parents for their support, adding, "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. 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."
Director Shane Black, a friend to Striegel, knew of this but chose to cast his friend in several of his films, including Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys. He initially defended this decision, saying, "I personally chose to help a friend. I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly." He then issued an apology calling his actions "irresponsible" and a "stupid decision."
While Striegel was granted a second chance thanks to Black, for Carnes, the effects of her abuse endure.
"I was not able to speak for myself when I was 14," she wrote. "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."