Actor Steven Seagal, whose martial arts film credits include several direct-to-video Golden Raspberry winners and whose life credits include several charges of sexual assault, has been appointed Russia’s special representative to the United States, in an effort to “improve Russian-American relations.” If helping to install a world-class idiot in our seat of power didn’t do the trick, certainly the Born to Raise Hell star will.
The New York Times reports that the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the appointment on their Facebook page (lol), claiming Seagal’s new (unpaid) gig will include promoting “relations between Russia and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges.” Seagal seems very excited to have a job:
Seagal, whose father’s family hailed from Russia, was granted Russian citizenship in November 2016. Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly a fan of Seagal’s work, and personally gave him his passport. Seagal has said he considers Putin a close, personal friend, and once called him one “of the world’s greatest leaders.” He further bolstered his relationship with Putin in 2014 by taking part in a pro-Putin motorcycle rally in Crimea, a peninsula Russia annexed from Ukraine that year following Ukraine’s revolution. That Russian military intervention—an apparent violation of international law—prompted many world leaders, including those in the United States, to condemn and enact sanctions against Russia.
Seagal, meanwhile, told Russian newspapers that Putin’s annexation and “desire to protect the Russian-speaking people of Crimea, his assets, and the Russian Black Sea military base in Sevastopol … is very reasonable.” He was banned from Ukraine in May 2017 and is considered a national security threat, according to the Washington Post.
Seagal has also been accused of sexual assault by several women, including two women who allege the actor assaulted them when they were teenagers. One of the women, Faviola Dadis, alleged earlier this year that Seagal assaulted her when she was a 17-year-old aspiring actress in 2002, after inviting her to his Beverly Hills hotel room for a casting session. Instead of auditioning her, he groped her breasts and her vagina, she claimed. “I have suffered from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, have found it difficult to form trusting relationships with men,” she said in March. Seagal’s team denied the accusations.
Actor Portia de Rossi alleged in 2017 that when she auditioned for a Seagal movie in his office, he “told me how important it was to have chemistry off-screen as he sat me down and unzipped his leather pants.” And Good Wife star Julianna Margulies has accused Seagal of threatening her with a gun when she showed up to a line reading at his hotel. Yes, I’m loving Russia more already.