Mythbusters alum Adam Savage was accused of raping his younger sister when they lived in Sleepy Hollow, New York, during the 1970s, Miranda Pacchiana said in a lawsuit filed June 30, as cited by the New York Post. Savage is best known for being a co-host on Mythbusters, a Discovery channel show that debunked or proved popular myths and urban legends.
The sexual abuse happened when Pacchiana was 7 and lasted until she was 10 years old, the lawsuit said. Pacchiana alleged Savage, who would have been 9 to 12 years old at the time, would call himself the “raping blob,” force oral sex on her and penetrate her anally. Pacchiana said in the suit she was “horrified and traumatized by the sexual abuse and assault her older brother inflicted upon her.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Pacchiana Blogged About Being Sexually Abused
Pacchiana talked about her experience in the about section on her website, The Second Wound, saying her family believed she was abused but wanted to keep it a secret.
Yes, they believed me–but my family members still seemed determined to brush my trauma under the rug. Over time, I came to realize they viewed me as the problem for focusing on the abuse. Not the brother who had abused me. I was blindsided. Feeling more confused and alone than ever, I searched for resources to help make sense of my situation. I came up mostly empty-handed.
In Pacchiana’s June 30 post, she called out her brother by name, writing: “My older brother, Adam Savage sexually assaulted me repeatedly over the course of several years, starting when I was seven years old.”
According to Pacchiana, they have not talked for more than 20 years. The last time they spoke she confronted Savage about the alleged abuse. “I called him out for his callous attitude about the abuse and his apparent disregard for the damage he had caused, but he chose not to acknowledge or show any compassion for my pain,” she wrote.
2. The New York Child Victims Act Inspired Her to Come Forward
Pacchiana came forward because of the New York Child Victims Act, which allows victims to bring forward cases that originally exceeded the statutes of limitations. It was slated to expire in May, but was extended to January 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“While nothing can give back what Adam Savage took from me, I hope this lawsuit will also demonstrate to my fellow survivors that we do not deserve to carry the shame of sexual abuse and assault,” she wrote.
Pacchiana said it was time to break the silence. “The public needs to know that Adam Savage sexually abused me when I was a child, as set forth in the lawsuit that I have finally been able to bring after all of these years,” she penned. “As a survivor and advocate for victims, I am determined to shine a light on the truth.”
“I get it. As a fellow survivor, I’ve lived through the Second Wound myself. I have also heard from countless fellow survivors. I learn from each and everyone,” she writes in the coaching section. “I can help. Together, we will determine your objectives (what you are looking to change or accomplish) and work to make them a reality.”
3. Pacchiana Has Written for the Huffington Post
In 2014, she wrote an article for the publication about listening to survivors of sexual abuse. The post was a reaction to Dylan Farrow’s allegations that her adoptive father Woody Allen sexually abused her as a child–something the famed director has long denied.
Despite Allen’s denial, Dylan Farrow has been publicly supported by her brother, journalist Ronan Farrow, and her mother, actress Mia Farrow. Pacchiana also voiced her support in the 2014 article.
“I stand behind Dylan and I call on others to do the same, no matter how uncomfortable the subject matter,” Pacchiana wrote. “We can only make headway against the epidemic of sexual abuse when outspoken survivors are accorded the respect they deserve — and like Dylan Farrow, refuse to be silenced.”
4. The Mythbusters Star Denied the Allegations
Savage, 52, denied the allegations, issuing a statement to the New York Post via lawyer Andrew Brettler.
While I hope that my sister gets the help she needs to find peace, this needs to end. For many years, she has relentlessly and falsely attacked me and other members of my family to anyone who will listen. By spreading numerous untrue stories about us in pursuit of a financial bonanza, she has tortured our entire family and estranged herself from all of us. I will fight this groundless and offensive lawsuit and work to put this to rest once and for all.
Savage’s mother, Karen Savage, claimed Pacchiana suffers from mental illness. “Adam is a good man, and I support him completely,” she told the Post. The assertion that Pacchina suffers from a mental illness is a “possible HIPAA violation,” Pacchiana’s lawyer, Jordan Merson, told the publication in response.
5. Savage Did Not Immediately Address His Fans on Social Media
After speaking through his attorney, Savage did not issue a statement about the allegations on social media. He boasts nearly 1 million followers on Instagram and has more than 1.4 million followers on Twitter.
The last thing he shared on Instagram was pictures of a new household item he constructed. “Today’s all-new One Day Build on @testedcom is the rare Savage Household build: a table to hold our dog leashes, doggy poop bags, face masks and more! (And @hdjoey’s editing is fanTAStic in it, too!) Link in Stories,” he wrote.
If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 for assistance.