Kiana Parker

Image provided by Kiana Parker

Kiana Parker and a witness discuss that viral Chet Hanks video—and what happened off-screen

Parker is finally able to discuss what allegedly happened in the lead-up to that bloody video and the several vocal claims made by Hanks in the months since.

 

Nahila Bonfiglio

Internet Culture

Published Aug 27, 2021   Updated Aug 29, 2021, 1:27 pm CDT

This article details domestic abuse and talk of suicide.

It’s been five months since a video of Chet Hanks and his former girlfriend, Kiana Parker, engaging in an altercation in their home in Sugarland, Texas, took social media by storm.

The video sparked widespread backlash, particularly in light of Hanks’ attempts to capitalize on his “Black queen summer” merchandise. Hanks’ year had begun with light-hearted social media posts promising a carefree “white boy summer.” Parker, a Black businesswoman and mother of two, tells the Daily Dot that she was in a relationship with Hanks for about two years before the couple split in January.

In interviews with the Daily Dot, Parker, and an assistant who witnessed what happened off-screen in the viral video, provided harrowing new details that cast doubt on Hanks’ side of the story. Several legal proceedings, a protective order, and a shocking affidavit later, Parker is finally able to discuss what allegedly happened in the lead-up to that bloody video and the several vocal claims made by Hanks in the aftermath.

The video

In a video shared by TMZ on March 31, Hanks and Parker can be seen in the midst of an aggressive confrontation. Hanks hurls accusations that Parker “attacked” him “with a knife” after “stealing my money, taking my credit cards and charging her rent to them.”

In the background of the video, Parker can be heard defending herself from the accusations levied by Hanks. When he accuses her of attacking him with a knife, she asks several people in attendance if she did, in fact, attack him, and the nearby witnesses appear to confirm that she did not. She then accuses Hanks of pushing her, which he claims is an attempt to “flip the story.”

When the video surfaced, it also brought to light multiple legal proceedings in process between the two. In January, Parker pursued a protective order against Hanks and began the process of further legal proceedings. In early March, Hanks responded by initiating his own lawsuit against Parker, accusing her of abuse, per People, which reviewed the lawsuit.

Hanks’ lawyer, Marty Singer, told TMZ that the January altercation displayed in the video was spurred by Hanks confronting Parker “about stealing money from his credit card.” Singer also claimed that Parker “viciously attacked Chet with a knife, which caused him to profusely bleed.” In court papers and interviews, Parker denied those accusations.

The affidavit

An affidavit filed by Parker on Jan. 12 as part of her application for a protective order details several violent altercations between Parker and Hanks. According to the affidavit, Parker and Hanks were involved in an “argument” in October 2020 while Hanks was in New Orleans filming Your Honor. According to the public legal document, Hanks became aggressive with Parker in their shared hotel room. Claiming that “he was in control” and would not be disrespected, Parker said Hanks “grabbed me forcefully by my right arm” and “threw a bottle at me,” per the affidavit.

Hanks attempted to stop Parker from leaving the hotel room, according to the affidavit, and even went so far as to break her phone. In the most widely shared quote from the affidavit, Parker said Hanks called her a “ghetto Black bitch” and told her that “no one would believe [her]” because “he was Chet Hanks and [she] wasn’t shit.” Chet Hanks is an actor and musician and is perhaps most famously known for being the eldest son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

As 2020 came to a close, the relationship became even more volatile. The affidavit outlines how, in mid-December, Chet Hanks allegedly repeatedly threatened his own life, along with Parker’s.

“He told me he would ‘blow my brains out,'” the affidavit reads, also alleging that Hanks said: “He ‘didn’t want to live and would blow his brains out’ as well.” He later allegedly told Parker that he was “suicidal” and “didn’t know what was wrong with him.”

The next altercation detailed in the affidavit was captured, in part, in the video shared by TMZ. According to the affidavit, Parker went to the couple’s Texas home to gather her property with movers and her assistant in tow. Hanks quickly became hostile, according to her statements, and ultimately chased her outside, injured her shoulder, and was forced to flee the scene when police were called by both a bystander and Parker herself. The Daily Dot has reached out to the Sugarland Police Department.

“I have been afraid to be by myself ever since and have had my assistant or family with me at all times,” a statement from Parker, included in the affidavit, reads. “I am afraid that he will hurt me again if we see each other face-to-face or if he finds out where I am staying.”

Parker was ultimately granted a temporary protective order, her lawyers told the Daily Dot. She has been trying to make it permanent, per her legal team, and the court has not yet made a ruling.

Kiana’s story

In an interview with the Daily Dot, Parker alleged that Hanks’ claims that she attacked him with a knife are entirely false. She said that if she stabbed him, “he would have had to go to a hospital to get stitches.”

Instead, Parker said Hanks became irate when she began recording his reaction to her decision to move out of one of their shared homes. When she arrived with movers to gather her possessions on Jan. 8, she said Hanks became “hostile” and appeared to be “intentionally trying to start a dispute.” She detailed how he allegedly tried to start the dispute—”following [her] around the house, standing in front [her], questioning [her], intentionally brushing against [her] and bumping [her], overall being hostile”—in the affidavit. When he placed his hand on a kitchen knife and began to approach her, Parker said, echoing what she alleged in the affidavit, she swung a saucepan “for my defense” and struck Hanks in the head. The blood seen in the viral video, Parker said, is a result of this.

Parker’s claims are backed up by her former assistant, who was a witness to the altercation. In an interview with the Daily Dot, Parker’s former assistant—who did not wish to be identified for this story—confirmed that she was at the Sugarland home on the day the fight happened. She said that Hanks was immediately hostile upon Parker’s arrival at the home.

“He was just following her around the house, harassing her, saying mean things,” she said. “Just being really angry, saying angry things. And then it just escalated.”

Parker vehemently denied any allegations that she attempted to stab Hanks with a knife. “There was no stabbing involved at all,” she said. “I don’t have it in my heart to stab anyone.”

The witness backed this claim up, saying that Parker never put her hands on a blade. She said that Hanks, however, did. She said Hanks had a knife in his hands while Parker was packing up items from the home’s dishwasher. The witness said he then “launched” himself at Parker, who was holding a pot at the time, which resulted in her throwing her arms up in defense. This is, according to the witness, how Hanks’ head became bloodied. In his lawsuit, per People, Hanks alleged that Parker was the one who walked toward him “holding a pot and a knife” before smashing him “over the face with the pot and [cutting] him with the knife.”

The altercation concluded, according to Parker, after Hanks pushed her into a parked vehicle. In the affidavit, Parker said, “We were by cars outside in front of the house, at that point, and he pushed me against the cars and wrestled me around the cars trying to get the phone.”

“There were witnesses,” she alleged. The witness interviewed by the Daily Dot, along with Parker’s lawyers, said that Parker was “thrown into a parked vehicle” by Hanks.

“I saw her go down, behind either a silver or white car,” the witness said. She claimed that, while fighting, Parker and Hanks temporarily disappeared from sight. When they reemerged, Hanks was “dragging her, pulling her by her wrist.” He “looked like a crazy enraged monster,” the witness said.

Soon after, Parker and the witness said Hanks left the scene in his vehicle. The witness said that she and several other people called the police but that “it just took them so long to get there.”

The aftermath

Parker said Hanks’ claim that the argument was prompted by her stealing money is baseless. In fact, according to Parker, it is she, not Hanks, who provided the financial backbone of their relationship.

Parker, who owns Foreign Hair—a company selling hair extensions—along with several other businesses, said that her income and business savvy were part of the reason Hanks was attracted to her. When they first met, she said he was struggling financially and that she stepped in to help him out.

After being cut off by his famous parents, Parker said Hanks was unhoused when they first started dating. While several outlets, including Radar Online, reported recently that Parker alleged the couple cut Chet Hanks off financially due to his alleged alcohol and drug use, this is the first time Parker has publicly claimed he was unhoused as a result. The Daily Dot has reached out to Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson regarding this claim.

“Me being a supportive girlfriend, I wanted to help,” Parker said. “He needed somewhere to go, I helped him find it.”

Parker said she helped Chet Hanks secure a place to stay, along with necessities, which makes his accusations of “stealing” sting all the more. She carried the bulk of the financial weight in the relationship during much of the two years they were together, according to Parker. The “picture” he’s trying to paint is “not true,” she said before emphasizing, “At all.”

Photos of text messages Parker shared with the Daily Dot and Radar Online show how conversations often unfolded between the two. One image shows the two talking after what appears, from context, to be the October incident in New Orleans. The image begins with a text from Hanks, in which he apologizes for his actions and words, noting that he’s “really disappointed in myself for saying it.”

Parker, noting that “that shit hurt,” responds that it seemed like Hanks set out to hurt her with his words and asks how he would react if she brought up his triggers—which appear to be his family—just to hurt him.

In response, he says that he “watched my mom domineer and control my dad for my entire life” and that when he feels like he’s “not being respected as a man it strikes a nerve.” Parker also referenced Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson’s alleged relationship dynamics in the affidavit, saying that Chet Hanks once told her that “he would not allow what happened with his mom and dad’s relationship to happen to ours.” The Daily Dot has reached out to Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson regarding Chet Hank’s alleged claim that Rita Wilson “domineers” and “controls” Tom Hanks.

Another text, this time from Jan. 22, shows a slew of aggressive, demanding texts sent by Hanks. After asking, in all caps, where Parker is, Hanks begins to use threatening language. He informs her that he is “not fuckin playing,” following it up with a claim that “if you don’t send me your location right now we’re gonna have a problem.”

He then spams her phone with a series of 13 messages reading “Location.” According to the image, there is no response from Parker at any point.

Parker clearly still feels compassion for Hanks despite the allegations and alleged racist verbal abuse he’s hurled against her. She said that “he’s fighting demons”—many of which were allegedly brought on by his childhood, which Parker said “wasn’t the best.” She did not elaborate further about claims that Hanks’ childhood was difficult.

“He’s not happy with himself, and I thought I could help,” she said. “He would always blame a lot of things on his childhood, his parents. I would feel bad, and I was with him thinking love and support could help. Because that’s how I was raised. But I have learned from this that you can’t fight anyone else’s demons for them.”

For months, people online have been labeling Parker as a “gold digger” and potential abuser who was only with Hanks for clout and money. She is now working to dispel this false image, she said, noting that she was a business owner for years before she met Hanks.

More than anything, Parker said she wants to move past this. She has 10-year-old twins to take care of, several businesses to grow, and a life to live. She’s a person completely outside of Hanks, the drama their relationship dissolved into, and the punchy headlines penned about her. In the end, she said she just wants “the world to know who I am versus just being Chet’s ex-girlfriend.”

Parker is currently pursuing legal action against Hanks. The lawsuit, she said, is “pending, going through the motions of the court.” Hanks was reportedly served with court documents at his birthday bash in early August. The Daily Dot can confirm that the lawsuit is still pending.

Chet Hanks and his representatives did not respond to the Daily Dot’s multiple requests for comment.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse or want more information on domestic violence and resources for victims, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotlineonline or at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

For more information about suicide prevention or to speak with someone confidentially, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.) or Samaritans (U.K.).


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*First Published: Aug 27, 2021, 7:00 am CDT