Shane Carruth, ‘Primer’ and ‘Upstream Color’ Director, Arrested on Domestic Violence Allegations

Shane Carruth attends a screening of "The Dead Center" at the LA Film Festival on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Culver City, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Shane Carruth, the director of independent films “Upstream Color” and “Primer,” was arrested last week at the home of his ex-girlfriend on allegations of domestic assault.

Carruth was arrested by Santa Monica police officers on Thursday morning. Police were called to the woman’s home around 4:50 a.m. to investigate the alleged assault, said Lt. Rudy Flores. By the time officers arrived, Carruth had left the area. The ex-girlfriend — whose name was not disclosed — provided the officers with information about the incident.

She then called back around 6:50 a.m., saying Carruth had returned. Police came back to the scene, found him nearby, and arrested him on suspicion of domestic violence and vandalism, according to Flores.

According to booking records, Carruth was released on $50,000 bond on Monday afternoon.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has declined to file felony charges, and instead referred the case to the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office, which prosecutes misdemeanors. A spokeswoman for the city of Santa Monica said the criminal division had yet to receive the file from the D.A.’s office.

Another ex-girlfriend, actor and director Amy Seimetz, obtained a restraining order against Carruth in August 2020, after informing the judge that he had sent her several disturbing and threatening messages since she broke up with him in 2018.

Carruth burst on the filmmaking scene with “Primer,” a time-travel movie that won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in 2004. He followed it up with “Upstream Color” in 2013. In May 2020, he told Indiewire that he was quitting filmmaking.

Carruth remains a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which he was invited to join in 2020.

Carruth did not respond to requests for comment.