MATTHEW Newton has announced he is stepping down from directing Eve, Jessica Chastain’s new movie, in response to a powerful backlash surrounding his history of alleged domestic violence.

The 41-year-old released a statement saying he wanted to take responsibility for his past actions.

media_cameraJessica Chastain has been criticised for choosing Matthew Newton to direct her new film. Picture: Getty.

“Yesterday I notified Jessica Chastain and the other producers on the film Eve that I will be stepping down as director” he said.

Since the announcement of this film, the responses, which are powerful and important, have not fallen on deaf ears. I am profoundly aware that I have a responsibility to lead where I have failed in the past.

“I can never undo the harm that I’ve caused the people I’ve cared about and I carry that shame and responsibility with me every day.”

“Over the past eight years, I have been working extensively with healthcare professionals to help me overcome my addiction and mental health illness,” he continued.

“For the past six years I have lived a quiet and sober life. All I can do now is try to be a living amends and hopefully contribute to the positive change occurring in our industry.”

media_cameraMatthew Newton and Emma Roberts at a premiere during the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. Picture: Getty

Newton suffers from bipolar disorder and went on to explain he has been seek treatment for his issues for years.

“Over the past eight years, I have been working extensively with healthcare professionals to help me overcome my addiction and mental health illness,” he continued.

“For the past six years I have lived a quiet and sober life. All I can do now is try to be a living amends and hopefully contribute to the positive change occurring in our industry.”

media_cameraRachael Taylor split from Matthew Newton in 2010 following two “violent and unprovoked” attacks. Picture: Supplied

Chastain faced online backlash after selecting Newton — who has an alleged history of domestic violence — to write and direct in her new film.

media_cameraNewton was arrested in 2016 for trespassing and resisting arrest. Picture: Getty

The actress is an advocate for the Time’s Up movement and was criticised by fans, saying the decision was “concerning”.

It was announced last weekend that Chastain had confirmed to producing and starring in action thriller Eve, and had selected Newton to write and direct.

Chastain and her business partner Kelly Carmichael said in an official statement: “Matthew is wonderfully adept at crafting complex and relatable characters. We’ve been fans of his work and are so thrilled to be partnering with him and Voltage on Eve”.

The decision to hire Newton has been labelled as hypocritical by fans, with the Molly’s Game actress having long been a prominent advocate for the Time’s Up movement and women’s rights.

Originally published as Newton quits film after backlash

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