In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, reports of sexual harassment and assault are overtaking Hollywood by the minute. Besides Weinstein, there have been allegations made against Kevin Spacey, Ed Westwick, director Brett Ratner, Charlie Sheen, Louis C.K., and others. The list of accusers against Harvey Weinstein alone is in the hundreds. It’s marked the beginning of what feels like a change in how Hollywood deals with power and women in the industry, and hopefully it’s a change for the better.
With that in mind, reporters have begun asking people with a history of assault, either in the open or in rumors, more openly and directly. That’s likely what The Daily Beast reporter Nico Hines had in mind when he asked Christian Slater, who plays Mr. Robot on Mr. Robot, about his own history with assault and harassment, but Hines could not have predicted Slater’s explosive response, which included calling the interviewer a "salacious cunt."
Stater’s history is neither clean not a secret. In 1977, he spent 100 days in rehab followed by three months in jail for assaulting his then-girlfriend and a police officer. In the 1980s, he was sentenced to 10 days in jail for drunk driving and assault. He was arrested for possessing a weapon in 1995. In 1998, he again spent 90 days in jail, three months in rehab, and a year in a treatment program for batterers for beating his girlfriend during a “drug and alcohol bender.” Finally, in 2005, Slater was arrested for sexual harassment.
Hines asked Slater if he “regretted his wilder years,” to which Slater unequivocally replied, “No, no. I regret nothing.” When Hines asked him about the recent environment in Hollywood and if he had any advice for people caught in recent sexual harassment scandals, Slater replied that “this is such a particular time where we’ve really hit a moment when such extraordinary change has to take place so I’m happy that women’s voices are being taken seriously and this age of secrecy and abuse of power era has to come to an end. I want women and all people to feel comfortable in the workplace, and I try to have that environment in my work.”
But Hines pressed Slater further. Did he really have no regrets about his many arrests involving battering women and sexual harassment? That’s when Slater went a little off the rails.
“What a salacious cunt this guy is!” Slater said, before being rushed away by his PR agent.
Slater later apologized for his “flash of anger."
“The question of regret is hard for me to reckon with,” Slater told Hines. “I do regret my words this morning,” he added, mentioning nothing about his own past.