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Hadrian Belove Resigns From Cinefamily After Anonymous Email Alleges Sexual Harassment

The anonymous email circulated to hundreds of members of the film community this week.

Hadrian Belove

Daniel Bergeron

Belove posted the following statement on Facebook:

Dear CInefamily,

I wish I was writing you under better circumstances. I hope you take the time to read this, as it’s important.

It’s not an official statement from CInefamily–it’s from me, Hadrian. There were too many folks in our community, our staff under stress, board members who love and care for the place, for me to find just the right way to respond. The board I’m sure will be issuing a statement later. So, two tears in a bucket, I’m just gonna tell the truth.

Many of you may have received, or been forwarded, an email concerning me, The Cinefamily, and various folks who either work here or support the organization.

First off, for those wondering, no known women have filed claims about anything like what this email alleges, and it’s even more disturbing that it states that our management has engaged to cover anything up.

The Cinefamily takes every claim extremely seriously, and cares enormously about our community. Even from an anonymous source, I am as disturbed as anyone to hear accusations of physical and verbal assault. I have been consulting with Officer Hess at the LAPD Wilshire Precinct–I would strongly encourage any victim of a sexual crime to contact him there at (213) 473-0476.

This emails sent around were anonymous, full of demonstrable lies and half-truths, and allegations without known victims–and I believe with motive to do as much damage as possible. To be clear: no one has ever a reported rape, or a crime of any kind reported before now. This is a flat out lie. Equally importantly, there was no “cover up”.

Which leads to something else about these poison pen letters. Aside from the incredible awfulness of the allegations, not only am I under attack personally but I am sickened by the number of innocent people drawn in callously by whoever sent these letters.

In earlier versions of this email sent around, a female ex employee was named against their will–an employee who specifically had asked not to be named, too.. They later removed her from the emails, (and she later contradicted much of what was said about her). I mention this to again affirm that this person is more than casual with the truth.

Trevor Jones and Simon Oré, good people who have done nothing but given their time and energy to this place, have been falsely accused of protecting a rapist of teenage women. No evidence, no victims, not even the guts to put their own name down as a third party with nothing to lose.

The idea that Trevor Jones and Simon Oré “covered something” up is abhorrent and defamatory. To be 100%: there has only been one complaint brought to Trevor in his tenure here, and it did not state any of the things in this email. He handled that single complaint with enormous diligence, concern, and professionalism–and, to cite another falsehood in these emails, to everyone’s satisfaction.

This is what Trevor actually did:

Even though there was no explicitly-named victim (because it was reported by a third party who would not name the woman), he brought in new sexual harassment training seminars, stated clear policies to the board and staff, held meetings, and, explicitly offered a wide range of avenues for this person (or any person) to speak if they chose to come forward–either alone or with someone, here or off-site, anonymously or not, and with a representative from ADP our human resource company to support them. He iterated clearly there would be zero tolerance of any fraternization between board and staff. Nothing was hidden, and had there been a criminal accusation, he would have brought it immediately to the police.

In summary, under advisement, he did everything could about this concern, was told by the complainant that our actions were satisfactory. Furthermore, when the person quit, he specifically restated it was not due to this complaint.

Now, I guess it’s time for me address this case from 2014, as best I can. One of the insidious and awful things about having information like this made public is that as much as I might want to speak to the specifics, I can’t. I literally, legally, I can’t. Part of how you move on with your life, instead of disrupting and dragging in everyone you know and love, is both parties agree to say nothing about it.

So by it’s nature there is no response. What you have read in the court filing is literally one side of the story, and I will never be able to say mine. A court filing is not a statement of fact, or an opinion, it’s a series of allegations without response, and a settlement is not a confession.

Living with this story in my life, and knowing that in the court of public opinion, I would never be able to defend myself, has been extremely stressful, traumatizing even. I can only express small relief I know longer have this threat hanging over my head.

So…Why is this happening?

I believe, and have evidence, this is part of an ongoing and aggressive campaign from a disgruntled ex-employee, who has been consistently revealing himself to have an malevolent agenda. This ex-employee repeatedly contacted our board to both tell them about an upcoming purported “exposé” he “knew”about, and also demanded both my removal and offer to take my job. He implied that the story could go away if I stepped down. To me, this doesn’t sound like someone trying to help people and do good within our community.

Around this same time, this person began to forward emails about me (some emails very similar to these) from his own email address. They were addressed to friends and associates, and sometimes attaching my settled court case he must have found online. He also tried to instigate a news story, which, fairly did not happen–as it would have been defamatory, and with malice.

After I sent legal letters regarding the malicious emails he had been sending, we were able to temporarily put a stop to it, for a time.

Now, once again, emails are being sent around–anonymously. This time by someone taking the time to encrypt, and to a rather personal email list that he would have had access too. All our business associates. Hundreds of them, all night long. As is the times we live in, they are now being shared on FB and twitter, by folks who know no one involved.

The stress on the current staff and board has been intense–I am honored that so many have dutifully gone about their jobs, working hard for an organization they love, while constantly under the shadow of the next potential disruption. I feel terribly for them. I am grateful that they have stood by all this time, doing they’re best to sort through the slowly escalating situation, and doing what I assume they must have thought was right.

So given the amount of chaos this has caused innumerable people in the community, I am heartbroken. And while, my instincts and sense of justice is to fight to the last, I can’t see how this can continue. But don’t get me wrong, this email was malicious slander, plain and simple. So while I reject the accusations wholesale, I want to acknowledge that I had created enough of an atmosphere to allow this kind of vitriol to fester.

With that in mind, on our 10 year anniversary, I sadly must resign as Executive Creative Director of CInefamily.

I do not know my future, or of the organization I love and have given my life too, and the many many close friends I have made. It has always been a fragile thing–but with so many people who care, I believe it can survive this, with or without me. I hope so. I will support it any way I can for the rest of my life.

My final hope is that we all think about what kind of world do we want to live in, and in our attempts to combat sexism, and other forms of oppression, what values are we willing to sacrifice. I believe the path of embracing hearsay, whisper campaigns, and anonymous allegations without evidence, are damaging our ability to pursue real justice–and ultimately damaging to the real battles we all need to fight every day.

Sincerely, and yours in programming,


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