Michael Fassbender's Return To Acting Is Being Called Out As His Ex-Girlfriend's Disturbing Domestic Abuse Allegations Against Him Are Circulated Online

On Tuesday, the first trailer for David Fincher's much-anticipated new movie, The Killer — starring Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, and Michael Fassbender — was released.

The first trailer for David Fincher’s ‘THE KILLER’ has been released.Releasing November 10 on Netflix. pic.twitter.com/1VXQEIQb53

— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) August 29, 2023

@DiscussingFilm / Paramount / Via Twitter: @DiscussingFilm

The Killer is an adaptation of Alexis Nolent’s French graphic novel series, and in it, Michael plays an unnamed murderer whose life starts to unravel after a near-miss.

Close-up of Michael smiling in a bow tie
John Phillips / Getty Images

The movie will premiere at the Venice International Film Festival next month, and after a short theatrical run in October, it'll stream on Netflix in November. It marks Michael's first film since 2019's poorly received Dark Phoenix. The star has spent the last couple of years as a professional race car driver.

Close-up of Michael smiling and wearing a uniform as a race car driver
Marc Piasecki / WireImage

His return to the big screen has not been well received on social media, with many using The Killer's trailer as an opportunity to revisit the disturbing abuse allegations that Michael faced back in 2010.

Close-up of Michael smiling in a bow tie
Kevork Djansezian / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The actor's ex-girlfriend Sunawin "Leasi" Andrews filed a restraining order against him in March 2010, requesting that he stay at least 100 yards away from her and her two children.

Close-up of Michael and Sunawin smiling at a media event
Phillip Massey / FilmMagic

Sunawin alleged that Michael physically abused her on multiple occasions, and she also sought $24,000 to pay for the associated medical bills.

Close-up of Sunawin smiling in a strapless outfit
Mike Marsland / WireImage

TMZ was the first publication to report the allegations on March 23, 2010, just months after Michael shot to fame in his breakout role in Inglourious Basterds.

Close-up of Michael in a suit and tie at a media event
Steve Granitz / WireImage

The actor did not comment on the allegations at the time, and also remained silent when Sunawin's claims resurfaced eight years later after the Daily Beast obtained the full petition that was filed against him, in light of the #MeToo movement.

Close-up of Michael in a suit and tie at a media event
Mike Marsland / Mike Marsland / WireImage

The Daily Beast detailed the allegations in full in February 2018, with one of the incidents said to have occurred when Michael became angry after an ex-boyfriend went up to Sunawin, Michael, and two friends at dinner to say hello. This anger apparently continued on the drive home.

Close-up of Michael smiling in a suit and tie and Sunawin, in a spaghetti-strap outfit, at a media event
Jeff Vespa / WireImage

“Michael was driving my car dangerously fast and screaming at me. I begged him to stop the car in fear of an accident or for my children, who were home asleep," Sunawin said.

Close-up of Michael in a suit and tie at a media event
Kevork Djansezian / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

According to the documents, Michael was screaming at Sunawin while driving recklessly, so she put the "car in stop" and exited the vehicle. However, when she walked to the driver's side to take the key out of the ignition, Michael allegedly put the car in drive and dragged Sunawin alongside it.

Close-up of Michael smiling in a suit and tie at a media event
Jean Baptiste Lacroix / FilmMagic

Sunawin claimed that this resulted in serious injuries. “I went to the hospital and had a twisted left ankle, blown out left knee cap and a burst ovarian cyst,” the filing read. “Lots of internal bleeding."

Close-up of Michael in sunglasses
Jean Baptiste Lacroix / FilmMagic

A second instance of abuse is said to have taken place at a film festival in July 2009, with Sunawin claiming that after a night of drinking, Michael returned to their hotel room with a friend, and the two men tried to get into bed with her.

Close-up of Michael smiling in a partially unbuttoned shirt
Daniele Venturelli / WireImage

Sunawin said that she ended up checking into another hotel room in a bid to avoid the men, and the next morning, she found Michael "sleeping in urine." When she tried to wake him for a work commitment that he had, she claimed that he threw her over a chair and broke her nose.

Close-up of Michael at a media event
Jon Furniss / WireImage

When the petition was filed, Sunawin listed the "date of most recent abuse" as Nov. 18, 2009.

Close-up of Michael smiling in a suit and bow tie at a media event
Gabriel Kuchta / Getty Images

A judge granted a temporary restraining order against Michael at the time, but it expired when Sunawin withdrew her petition one day before the hearing for a permanent protective order. It is not known why she canceled her request.

Close-up of Sunawin wearing a V-neck top
J. Vespa / WireImage

BuzzFeed has contacted Sunawin for comment.

Close-up of Michael wearing sunglasses and a short-sleeved shirt
Raymond Hall / GC Images

Meanwhile, Michael's career flourished in spite of the troubling allegations against him, with the star finding success in 12 Years a Slave, several X-Men movies, and Alien: Covenant after Sunawin's accusations.

Michael in 12 Years a Slave with Chiwetel Ejiofor

But not everybody has found themselves able to brush Michael's alleged behavior under the carpet, and one person took to a popular Reddit forum this week to remind users of Sunawin's claims.

Close-up of Michael wearing a cap at a public event and giving the thumbs-up
Han Myung-gu / WireImage

In response, many redditors shared their shock that they'd never heard about the allegations before. One person wrote, "Just goes to show how good famous people are at burying this stuff. I had never heard this."

Screenshot of the comment

"wtf," another began. "when did this happen and why i never heard of it?" One more noted: "No mention of any of this in his Wikipedia page, good PR ppl is really all anyone needs to sidestep #metoo"

Screenshot of the comment regarding good PR

A similar post about the actor was also shared to Twitter alongside The Killer trailer. It has since been retweeted thousands of times and has had almost 8 million views.

Close-up of Michael in a bow tie
Mondadori Portfolio / Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Michael, who married Alicia Vikander in 2017, has yet to publicly acknowledge the allegations, and BuzzFeed has contacted his representative for comment.

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