One of Gary Oldman's ex-wives is speaking out about her own darkest hour.
Donya Fiorentino, Oldman's third of his five wives with whom he shares sons Gulliver, 20, and Charlie, 18, opened up to The Daily Mail about her "nightmare" relationship.
"He stole my children and ruined my life," she said. "The truth needs to be told. I would like Gary to stand up and take responsibility for his actions. Will he? Who knows? He has always denied everything."
Fiorentino, a former model, spoke for the first time about her former husband, because, she told The Daily Mail, she wants the world and her children to know the reality about the man behind the slickly managed Oscar campaign – a man she claims abused her physically and emotionally before using his fame, power and money to gain custody of their sons.
In legal documents filed in 2001, Fiorentino painted the Darkest Hour actor as a deadbeat husband who spent thousands on alcohol and prostitutes during drug-fuelled weekends – charges Oldman has vehemently denied.
In reply, he called his former wife a ‘fantasist’ whose own raging addiction to pills and alcohol tore apart their marriage and left her an unfit mother. After an arduous legal battle, a judge sided with Oldman, granting him custody of their young sons.
Since their divorce, Oldman has become one of Britain’s most successful exports to Hollywood, starring as Harry Potter’s godfather Sirius Black in the hit films and in blockbusters such as Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, while earning praise for his performances in films such as JFK and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Oldman is currently the favorite to win the 2018 Academy Award for Best Actor for his transformative performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.
"Our marriage was a giant car crash in which demented things happened. I lost my self-esteem, I was broken," Fiorentino said. "I’ve been empowered by hearing other women speak up. When a woman gets her voice back, she gets her power back."
"I want our sons and the world to know the truth," she continued. "I would rather get eaten by a great white shark than go through that marriage again... I’m not speaking out to hurt Gary. In fact, I wish him well. He’s a brilliant actor and he fully deserves his Oscar. But when you are nominated for an Academy Award you have to be held to a higher standard."
According to The Daily Mail, Oldman and Fiorentino met at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in 1996. Fiorentino said the two fell in love quickly and she was pregnant with their first son Gulliver when they got married four months after their first date.
But their relationship soured when Donya was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis during her second pregnancy.
"I was in pain. I couldn’t cope," she said. "Gary yelled at me constantly, saying other mothers coped without any problems. I became angry and resentful."
The pair had serious fights. Donya says, "He would say I married him because he was rich and famous – but I married him for love."
She claims the rows sometimes erupted into physical violence. In legal documents, after Donya filed for divorce in 2001, she alleges Oldman beat her with a telephone receiver as she cradled Charlie.
The divorce and the marriage remain a painful memory for Fiorentino.
"It happened a long time ago but it was incredibly traumatising to me because he hit me in front of the kids," she says.
"The kids were held hostage in the war between us. I eventually ran out of money and was representing myself in court. Money, power and fame won. I will take blame, I played a big part in destroying my life and that is something I have to live with. I am sorry I was not the mother I should have been.
"I don’t blame Gary for everything. But it takes two to destroy something. The perpetrators of domestic abuse have to live with it too."
Oldman has two more marriages under his belt since his divorce from Fiorentino.
His fourth, in 2008, was to Somerset-born jazz singer Alexandra Edenborough, and he married his fifth wife, Gisele Schmidt, last year after proposing in his full Churchill outfit for Darkest Hour. Before Fiorentino, Oldman married Leslie Manville in 1987, and Kill Bill star Uma Thurman in 1990.
Recent publicity for the film has reopened old wounds for Fiorentino. "I am talking now not because of Gary but because I want my children to understand what happened. I’ve moved on with my life but that’s not to say it doesn’t still hurt."
"I wish him well. I truly do. A lot of water has passed under the bridge."
Donya hopes she will inspire others to speak out.
"I’ve lived with my demons for years but the truth will always come out. I hope Gary has faced down his demons. My hope for him is that he has achieved the peace and calm we never had."
Photo: Twitter/Felix Mater Society