“Upstream Color” and “Primer” filmmaker Shane Carruth, 50, has been arrested in Los Angeles on a domestic violence charge. Variety reports that the indie filmmaker was taken into custody last week at the home of his ex-girlfriend (whose name was not disclosed).
Carruth’s previous ex, Amy Seimetz, had been granted a restraining order against Carruth in June 2020, citing years of emotional and physical abuse. One alleged incident that occurred at a hotel in 2016 found Carruth strangling Seimetz until it was hard for her to breathe.
According to the new report, Santa Monica police were summoned to the woman’s home on Thursday around 4:50 a.m., per Lieutenant Rudy Flores. Once police arrived, Carruth had left the scene.
The ex-girlfriend called the police again around 6:50 a.m. to say that Shane Carruth had returned to her home. Police then found Carruth nearby and arrested him “on suspicion of domestic violence and vandalism.”
Per booking records, Carruth was released on a $50,000 bond on Monday afternoon.
Reportedly, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has declined to file felony charges and will instead send the case to the Santa Monica Attorney’s Office, which handles misdemeanors. A spokeswoman for Santa Monica told Variety that the criminal division has not yet received the file from the District Attorney’s office.
Carruth won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for “Primer” in 2004, and then followed up that film with the acclaimed “Upstream Color” in 2013. But Carruth told IndieWire in 2020 that he had quit filmmaking to focus on shepherding other projects. “I’ve got one last project in front of me. I shouldn’t say anything about it. I’m still defining the edges. But that is it for me. I’m not going to say I’m doing a project and then hope Paramount gives me a deal or whatever the hell. I’m not doing that anymore,” he said.
Seimetz’s restraining order gained visibility on social media upon filing after Carruth tweeted an image of the “Upstream Color” soundtrack on vinyl with part of the restraining order document sticking out from underneath it. The film community then rallied to support Seimetz, whose last film was 2020’s “She Dies Tomorrow.”