Gary Oldman’s role as Winston Churchill in "Darkest Hour" earned the best actor Oscar on Sunday, capping the actor's triumphant awards season that included a Golden Globe, BAFTA and other trophies for the role. But some were disturbed to see Oldman win the award on a night that celebrated the empowerment of women with the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements taking center stage.
According to the Daily Beast, Oldman was accused of assault in 2001 by his then-wife Donya Fiorentino, who said the actor beat her with a telephone while their children were present. He denies her claims.
The New York Daily News reported Fiorentino filed paperwork with the Los Angeles Superior Court at the time that stated, “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.”
The pair split in 2001 and Oldman married Alexandra Edenborough in 2008 until 2015 and then Gisele Schmidt in 2017. Oldman was also married to Uma Thurman and Lesley Manville.
Oldman, 59, was also caught making controversial comments defending accused abusers Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin in a 2014 Playboy interview.
On Sunday, the English-born Oldman graciously thanked the country that he's made his home.
"I've lived in America for the longest time and I am deeply grateful to her for the loves and the friendships I have made and the many wonderful gifts it has given me. My home, my livelihood, my family and my Oscar," he said. "The movies .... captivated a young man from South London and gave him a dream."
Oldman saluted "Sir Winston Churchill, who has been marvelous company on what can be described as an incredible journey," and thanked his wife and his 98-year-old mom.
"She is watching this ceremony from the comfort of her sofa. I say to my mother, 'Thank you for your love and support, put the kettle on. I am bringing Oscar home,'" he said.
However, some social media users wrote they were disturbed to see Oldman up on stage. Kobe Bryant also won an Oscar on Sunday for best animated short and his win earned similar backlash due to his past sexual assault allegations.
Last year, best actor winner Casey Affleck was plagued with negative feedback after sexual assault allegations against him resurfaced. The controversy led to Affleck skipping this year's show.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.