The first rule of Hollywood Fight Club is that you don’t talk about Hollywood Fight Club. That’s why when former Lost star Dominic Monaghan took to his Twitter and lambasted his former co-star Matthew Fox, everyone was agog.
When a Twitter fan engaging in a Q&A urged him to get Fox on the social network, he responded with a curt, “He beats women. No thanks.” When the fan, @omggbeccaa, responded to his tweet by writing, “What about all those good times you had together?” Monaghan was unperturbed: “How do you know we ever did? You don’t know either of us. He beats women. Not isolated incidents. Often.”
While the allegations were shocking, what was even more surprising is that he didn’t take the tweets down. When fans goaded Monaghan, he continued: “an accusation is when you ‘claim’ someone did something wrong. i know. but hey little fan girl maybe want to get slapped.” And, the former Lord of the Rings star continued: “It’s very difficult to sue someone for speaking the truth. Have you received an education dear?”
The anonymous lawyer-by-day-blogger-by night who goes by @entylawyer on Twitter and runs the much-talked about Crazy Days and Nights Hollywood gossip blog, said he wasn’t surprised that Monaghan didn’t chicken out and remove the tweets. “Well, I don’t think he’s the kind of guy to take it down. Dominic doesn’t do that kind of thing. He’s the kind of guy who says what he wants to say and he’s very abrupt. He’s very confrontational,” he said. “I thought that he must’ve had a lot of anger towards Matthew Fox. I think he believes it 100 percent. I don’t think he’s the kind of guy just to say something like that without meaning it, but I was shocked that he said it.” He added: “You can tell that his Twitter’s not run by a publicist.”
When contacted to comment for this story, Fox’s publicist wrote in an email, “If we release a statement, we will let you know.” Calls and emails to Monaghan’s representation were not returned.
Sequestered in the decidedly non-Hollywood community of Bend, Ore., two years after Lost, Fox has still been the subject of a number of scandalous stories. He had been looking worse for wear (in part because of a movie role), resembling third season Jack, his Lost character, complete with a real beard (Fox’s is authentically gray), when last month, according to TMZ, he was pulled over in Bend at 3:23 a.m. for driving erratically, after which he was arrested for and charged with drunk driving. (He hasn’t pled; his court date is this month.)
In 2010, the Lost star was also in the headlines when a local Bend stripper, Stefani Talbott, accused him of cheating with her on his wife, Margherita Ronchi, an Italian born former model, an accusation he vehemently denied in the press.
Fox himself has alluded to a tempestuous relationship with his wife. He told Men’s Health magazine in March 2009. “My wife and I have very intense fights but they’re over in 10 minutes,” but added, “We don't hold onto stuff. Life’s too short for that. The more conscious you are of that, the easier it is to reach across the aisle and say, ‘I’m sorry we got here. What are you seeing? How can we fix this?’”
He expanded on that idea the next year in an interview with Emmy magazine, talking about the secret to his 18-plus year marriage. “Maybe it’s that we fight well, and neither of us are people who hold things in.”
But was an incident from August of last year that people seem to remember the most. He allegedly got in an argument with a female bus driver in Cleveland, Ohio where he was filming I, Alex Cross. According to a civil complaint that was filed later, Fox was allegedly drunk and attempted to board a private party bus to get a ride home, but because he was so inebriated, the driver, Heather Bormann, didn’t want to let him on board, and got into a scuffle with the actor who, she alleged, started to punch and claw at her, hitting her in the groin area. She punched him back in self-defense. No charges were pressed by the police.
Bormann was suing him in civil court, but when the actor filed a countersuit for slander and battery, it appeared she got cold feet. The case was dismissed a month ago (but the news of the dismissal broke Thursday). Her former lawyer, J. Norman Stark, who runs an independent law firm in Cleveland, Ohio, said she had not been in contact with him in recent months and so he had no choice but to withdraw from the case, which, he said, he found upsetting.
“I had a good case; I had a police report that showed she’d been assaulted.” He added that Bormann’s injuries were documented in pictures and she had been to the emergency room that evening. He believed the reason she’d folded was because of the countersuit. “She could not fight it. I thought she had an excellent case. I frankly would have pursued it in view that this could be a very nasty situation. They were willing to spend a lot of money to counterclaim against her. He hired a law firm here, and they said, ‘We’ll spend a million dollars.’” But he said, “I can only try a case if my client is available.”
After emails and calls, Fox’s lawyer deferred to Fox’s publicist, who declined to comment.
While you will see many Hollywood types bicker with each other over Twitter, it’s rarely a specific and damning accusation. @Entylawyer said, “You don’t usually see people trashing each other in public unless it’s been a few years down the road.”
That Monaghan has remained undaunted is rare. Even with all the money in the bank, most Hollywood stars and executives are loathe to squeal to protect their own hide. “Everybody—except for maybe studio employees—is a freelancer. Everybody always is looking for the next job,” said @entylawyer. “You don’t know how long a show is going to last. Do you want to bite the hand of a casting agent? A good one is the casting agent that was the sex offender that came out like three months ago,” he said, referring to a casting director and registered sex offender who worked on JJ Abrams’ Super 8 who was the subject of an investigative story in the Los Angeles Times last November. “And I think people maybe knew, but he was really good at his job, so, you know. And who’s going to turn him in? You don’t know what he’s going to cast for later. I think it’s just there’s so many people that are depending on other people to get jobs and networking way more in this than almost in other profession. You have to sell yourself every day. And even like a studio head. They get fired all the time and then they got to move somewhere else. People think that Hollywood is this huge, huge place, and it’s not. It’s very small.”
Unless stars name names, nothing changes. “When Corey Feldman said that he got molested in a casting couch kind of situation by a producer, and he said, ‘I’m not going to name a name’—if he had named the name then I think it would have helped,” said @entylawyer. “It doesn’t really help to say that he got molested– it might help him, but it doesn’t help as a whole. If he had said something then maybe it could have done some good.”
Dominic Monaghan might be a publicist’s worst nightmare—and he’s about to embark on a publicity tour for his movie The Day and will surely have to answer endless questions about his Twitter comments—but no one can call him a chicken. If his statements are indeed true, the former Hobbit might be the only brave man in Hollywood.