Casey Affleck's victory in the Best Actor category will likely go down as one of the most controversial moments in recent Oscar history - outside of, y'know, the whole Moonlight / La La Land thing.

For those that have been living under a rock, here's what's been reported - two separate women, cinematographer Magdalena Gorka and producer Amanda White, brought sexual harassment lawsuits against Casey Affleck when he was directing the 2010 mockumentary, I'm Not There. The lawsuits alleged "uninvited and unwelcome sexual advances in the workplace" and Affleck settled both cases out of court for undisclosed sums and all parties involved are now legally prohibited from discussing the issue in public.

The lawsuits and their settlements came to light roughly around the same time that Casey Affleck's Oscar campaign kicked off, culminating with his victory on Sunday night. As you can imagine, a lot of people are particularly upset that someone with this hanging over them is being awarded the highest honour in the film industry, while others believe that the work speaks for itself and his personal life is irrelevant.

At the time of the lawsuit, Affleck's legal team characterised them as extortion, whilst Gorka in the lawsuit described the experience as "the most traumatising of her career." Since then, neither Affleck, Gorka or White has spoken publicly about the lawsuit.

However, in an interview with the Boston Globe, the lawsuits were put to Affleck who responded with a pretty oblique statement on the whole thing, reiterating that he wasn't able to talk about the lawsuits and that nobody commenting on them knows what happened. He continued, "I believe that any kind of mistreatment of anyone for any reason is unacceptable and abhorrent, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect in the workplace and anywhere else."

"There’s really nothing I can do about it... other than live my life the way I know I live it and to speak to what my own values are and how I try to live by them all the time."

Neither Magdalena Gorka or Amanda White have publicly commented on Affleck's win at the Oscars or their separate lawsuits since the settlement.


Via Boston Globe