Filmmaker Jessica Manafort — a daughter of Republican political consultant Paul Manafort, who has been indicted following accusations of financial crimes related to his work in Ukraine — released a movie called “Rosy” this week.
But you wouldn’t know it from the film’s credits.
Instead, Manafort, the movie’s writer and director, used a pseudonym in connection with the project: Jess Bond.
Manafort acknowledged her use of the alias — which takes its surname from the maiden name of her mother, Kathleen — in a statement she provided to The Times.
Manafort said she is using the name Bond “not to hide, but to separate myself from everything going on because it has nothing to do with me or my work.”
“I am a passionate liberal and a registered Democrat and this has been difficult for me. Although I am ‘the daughter of,’ I am very much my own person and hopefully people can realize that,” Manafort said, adding that she is in the process of legally changing her last name.
“Rosy,” which co-stars Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shalhoub, was released by indie distributor the Orchard on video-on-demand platforms on July 17. It debuted a little more than a week before Manafort’s father is scheduled to go on trial in federal court in Alexandria, Va.
Jessica Manafort, 36, is no stranger to Hollywood, having previously directed movies including “Remember the Daze” and “A Shore Thing,” and writing and producing other projects. But “Rosy” is the first film of hers to be released since her controversial father rose to national prominence in 2016 when he was named chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, according to online entertainment database IMDB.
The elder Manafort has been under intense scrutiny since then, in part for his work for powerful Ukrainians with ties to the Russian government. He was indicted in October 2017 as part of the Russia investigation conducted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, though he has not been charged with election-related crimes. He was indicted again in February and June on additional charges.
Jessica Manafort’s IMDB page says that she was accepted into New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2000 “after receiving a recommendation from the legendary director Martin Scorsese.” She graduated with honors in 2004, according to the webpage. “Rosy” is Manafort’s highest-profile project to date. The film is a “thriller with dark comedic undertones that explores a young woman’s attempt to break free from male toxicity by using her sexuality to empower herself,” according to a description of it provided by the filmmaker.
The Orchard declined to comment.
Until last year, Manafort was married to Jeffrey Yohai, a real estate developer with his own show business connections. “I Heart Huckabees” actor Jacob Hoffman and his father, Dustin Hoffman, invested $3 million in a real estate venture of Yohai’s that went bankrupt in 2016, The Times first reported last year.
Manafort, along with her mother and father, also invested in Yohai’s snakebitten real estate business, which aimed to build high-end homes in tony Los Angeles neighborhoods, including Bel-Air and in the Bird Streets section of the Hollywood Hills. In all, the three Manaforts put $4.7 million into the projects, which were never completed.
In May, Reuters reported that Yohai had pleaded guilty to two charges related to his real estate and financial dealings as part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that requires him to cooperate with other criminal cases — leading to the possibility that he could be asked to help in the prosecution of his former father-in-law.
Yohai’s attorney declined to comment.
Times staff writers Mark Olsen and Chris Megerian contributed to this report.