An onslaught of celebrities are coming forward with their stories of sexual harassment and assault, following allegations of Harvey Weinstein's horrendous abuse of power. Everyone from Blake Lively to Terry Crews has opened up about supremely inappropriate behavior they've experienced within the film industry, and the list of victims keeps getting longer and longer. On Oct. 11, Lili Reinhart shared a sexual harassment story on her Tumblr — and it's an incredibly painful, important read.
At this point, it's hard to keep up with all of the women who have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault. There was Ashley Judd, who alleged that the producer asked her to watch him take a shower. Then there was actress Jessica Barth, who claimed that Weinstein asked her to massage him, while he was naked. Oh, and then there was journalist Lauren Sivan, who claimed that she was forced to watch the disgraced mogul masturbate into a potted plant.
Of the allegations, Sallie Hofmeister, Weinstein's spokeswoman, said in a statement,
Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.
Now, even more Hollywood players are stepping forward to share their stories about alleged incidents with various colleagues and associates. Reinhart took to Tumblr to discuss her experience with sexual harassment, and express her solidarity with all the victims who have opened up in recent weeks.
The post, titled "In light of the Harvey Weinstein allegations," details an incident involving a "significantly older" person she was working with on a project when she was a teenager. The Riverdale actress says she had a crush on him. The two went on a date together, and the actress claims that the man forced himself on her, while she repeatedly told him "no." She wrote,
I physically walked away from the situation before it could get any worse. I remember feeling like this was a scene right out of a horror movie.
The man then convinced Reinhart to get back into his car and attempted to drive her back to his house. Once again, she said no, and he made a "snarky comment" and "reluctantly" drove her home.
The actress recalled the difficult days that followed and how she tried to come to terms with her attacker, while he proceeded to blame and shame her. She wrote,
The next day I tried to talk to him about the situation. I told him how uncomfortable it made me and how wrong it felt.
Thinking back on it now, the situation is hard for me to swallow. I was so young and didn’t know how to handle the situation. I just knew how wrong it felt and that I had been violated.
This guy proceeded to tell me that it was my fault for leading him on. Saying that "I seemed like a sexual girl and that I’d be down for it." That I misled him.
The man called her a "tease" and “the most manipulative woman he’d ever met.” Reinhart wrote that she actually felt like she had done something wrong, and worried that she had in fact led him on. The actress explained that she never told anyone on the project about the situation because she didn't think anyone would believe her. Plus, he held more power in the project. She reasoned,
If I said something, maybe the production would be halted… people would be put out of work. I would be looked at as dramatic and a diva, no one would want to work with me again.
The actress then expressed her solidarity with the women who have come forward with allegations against Weinstein, and her belief that women should open up about their experiences with sexual harassment.
"I’m coming forward about my own experience to further express how common these assaults are in this industry and how important it is that we take action to fight against it," she wrote.
So, so much applause for these victims who are bravely sharing their stories. We're all better and stronger because of it.