Josh Brolin on the time he was arrested for domestic abuse: ‘There’s no explaining it’

The Guilt Trip Premiere

I watched and enjoyed Sicario, mostly because of Emily Blunt’s stellar performance. It wasn’t really an “enjoyable” movie as far as subject matter, but the film had a macabre beauty to the way it was shot/directed. I didn’t really think it needed a sequel, but apparently people had other ideas. Sicario: Day of the Soldado is the Emily Blunt-less sequel, which follows Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro’s characters as they f–k up some sh-t on the border. I’m including the trailer at the end of the post – it seems like a well-done action film with extremely questionable politics and a nonsensical plot, but whatever. To promote the film, Josh Brolin gave an interview to the New York Times. The NYT asked him about that time in 2004 when he was arrested for domestic violence, which happened when his then-wife Diane Lane called the police on him.

After years of relative silence, Josh Brolin is finally speaking out about his 2004 arrest for domestic violence.

“God, I’ve never been so careful with my words. Ever. Maybe in all 50 years,” he told The New York Times about the incident. “And there’s no reason for me to be other than there’s no explaining it. Do you know what I mean? The only person who can explain that would be Diane [Lane], and she’s chosen not to, so I’m O.K. with that.”

Brolin was arrested in 2004 in the West Los Angeles home he shared at the time with Diane Lane, who phoned police claiming that he had hit her. The actor was charged with spousal battery and released after posting $20,000 bail, said Kelly Bush, a spokeswoman for the couple.

“There was a misunderstanding at their home,” Bush told the Daily News at the time, saying that the arrest was “for the lowest-end misdemeanor charge of domestic battery. … Diane did not want to press charges and asked them not to arrest him, but in cases involving the possibility of any physical contact, the police have to arrest first, ask questions later. Bush added that the two are back together in their home “and are embarrassed the matter went this far.” The couple remained married for nine more years before filing for divorce in 2013.

While The New York Times noted that Brolin “understands he needs to talk about it,” the actor focused mostly on what he has learned about himself since the arrest. (Lane declined to comment for profile).

“I was more reactive, I was more, ‘People need to know the truth,’ ” Brolin said of his initial reaction to the incident. “Whatever I say [now] is going to sound like compensation for a perpetrator. I’ve gotten to a place where all that matters is that I have control over my behavior, and at that time, it was a little more chaotic.”

[From People]

I remember thinking, at the time, that it seemed like they had both been drinking and that things got way out of hand. Not that “they were both drunk” is any kind of excuse or justification or even an explanation, but it’s true that Diane didn’t want to press charges and it’s true that they stayed together for nine more years after that incident, and there was never any other accusation or claim of abuse or violence between them after that. That being said, he’s right that it’s Diane’s story to tell and maybe it speaks volumes that she’s never really explained what really happened and she left him dangling in the wind with the label “domestic abuser.” I don’t know, I really don’t.

'Sicario: Day of the Soldado' Premiere - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

23 Responses to “Josh Brolin on the time he was arrested for domestic abuse: ‘There’s no explaining it’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. A says:

    Many women who are abused stay with the man and don’t want charges filed – the fact that this was Diane’s reaction does not mean an absence of abuse.

    • Agapanthus says:

      Absolutely. Also, I always found it odd that Minnie Driver broke off their engagement very abruptly with no explantion. Hasn’t he got a history of alcohol abuse and violence?

    • mela says:

      I did the same thing with a boyfriend. Multiple hospital visits and I would not cooperate with pressing charges and I stayed for another 2 years. I was so confused. In hindsight, he didn’t deserve my protection.

      I absolutely believe there was abuse in this scenario. He probably can’t explain it because he can’t remember it.

  2. Slacker says:

    Plus Josh Brolin has a history of violence associated with alcohol. He’s started barroom brawls on movie sets before

    • bananapanda says:

      He was a bad angry drunk. I listened to a podcast of him recently and he’s actually more thoughtful and well read than you’d expect. Most importantly, he’s sober now after decades of drinking (seems to have quit drugs in 80/90s). I think their marriage was a volatile/passionate one fueled by alcohol. I’m glad Diane got out safe.

      • Anna says:

        Not trying to pick a fight, but I really dislike when people try to say a relationship was “volatile”. First, let’s place the blame on the abuser, not the relationship. Because it’s nobody’s fault but his own that he raised a hand to his partner. And second, let’s not use euphemisms. The man was VIOLENT. Not just emotional, not just passionate, VIOLENT.

  3. JustJen says:

    OMG…why is he so orange? Idk if I’ll bother with this movie. Emily Blunt was one of the best parts of the first one. Without her, I don’t think it will be worth my time. Maybe when it makes it’s way to Hulu or Netflix. Maybe…if I’m really bored.

    • AG-UK says:

      Exactly what I said if I am bored it’s raining and at the £5.99 cinema 7 minutes walk from my house then I’ll go. The first was so good why did they think they needed another? Boggles the mind.

  4. Millenial says:

    It sounds like it happened, and it sounds like he’s got a good PR person making sure he doesn’t put his foot in mouth.

  5. Renee says:

    At least he referred to himself as a “perpetrator” & didn’t try to explain it all away as an innocent misconstrued event. However, I don’t want to give him credit for saying the minimalist thing he could say. The bar is set so low for men……..I swear!

    • Esmom says:

      The bar is really low, that’s for sure. The line “all that matters is that I have control over my behavior, and at that time, it was a little more chaotic” also kinda sounds like an admission. Of something. But you are right in that it seems like the bare minimum. Ugh.

    • Xi Tang says:

      Right? Like I’m glad he’s owning it…kinda. And I’m not “cancelling” the guy. But the bar for men is so ridiculously low holy shit.

    • Trashaddict says:


  6. noway says:

    I think people need to start realizing a person can hit, or rape, or harass or a lot of other terrible things just one time. Not that he did any of those things as we don’t have the full story from either party, but the possibility does exist. We need to get out of the mindset all abusers are always abusing a ton of times and to different victims. Sure it’s more likely an abuser has more victims and more incidents, but not always. It’s dangerous to think they all look that bad. Gives you the delusion you can spot them, and that is just not the case. Also, some people do rehabilitate for lack of a better word. It depends on the incident and the person.

    One thing I will say isn’t it sort of refreshing from both Josh and Diane, in today’s world where we hear everything about celebrities, they refuse to talk about it. I mean it sounds like they dealt with it and they both were fine with letting it be.

    • Anna says:

      I’m not sure we should be praising them for refusing to discuss domestic violence. This isn’t the 1950s.

  7. MelGam says:

    Brolin is a douche hands down. He is male actor from a famous family he will be fine. Diane doesn’t need to say anything.

    • mela says:

      I suspect the domestic violence is a low part off her life that is deeply personal and painful and she doesn’t want her awful experiences with Brolin repeated amongst strangers in public.

      Sometimes relationships teach us lessons we never wanted to learn.

      • Anna says:

        Yeah, I wouldn’t say she owes us to talk about what I’m sure was a deeply painful experience. On the other hand, I do think when domestic violence survivors are able to discuss what happened to them, that does help take the stigma away somewhat.

    • pix says:

      Yes! He’s a tiny, little d-bag.

  8. KiddV says:

    I thought they were such a hot couple, I was sad when the abuse came out. I’m glad she finally left him, though. I have a bit of a crush on Diane, I loved her in Under the Tuscan Sun.

  9. LooseSeal says:

    She left him dangling in the wind to be labeled a domestic abuser? I’m….saddened that that’s the assessment being made here. I thought we were a little better than that on this site.

  10. Shelly says:

    But we know what happened. He hit her. Why does she have to explain anything?