Jennifer Lopez Shares Her Own #MeToo Sexual Harassment Story

“When I did speak up, I was terrified.”

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It seems like practically every other woman who’s ever set foot in Hollywood has a #MeToo story of her own, including Jennifer Lopez. But, as she shared in the April 2018 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, when a director allegedly tried to sexually harass her early on in her career, the multi-hyphenate refused to stay quiet about it.

“I haven’t been abused in the way some women have. But have I been told by a director to take off my shirt and show my boobs? Yes, I have. But did I do it? No, I did not,” she said. “When I did speak up, I was terrified. I remember my heart beating out of my chest, thinking, ‘What did I do? This man is hiring me!’ It was one of my first movies. But in my mind I knew the behavior wasn’t right. It could have gone either way for me. But I think ultimately the Bronx in me was like, ‘Nah, we’re not having it.'”

In late January, J.Lo spoke out in support of the #MeToo movement (though she didn’t share her own personal experience with sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry at that time). She told Billboard that the current era of #MeToo and Time’s Up is “a beautiful time for women.” “We are really finding our voices,” the 48-year-old said. “We are really coming out of the shadows and saying how we feel. [It’s about] knowing our worth and our value and making the opposite sex aware of our worth and our value.” Lopez, mother of daughter Emme and son Max, both 10, also praised the movement’s effects on younger generations. “It’s a groundbreaking thing that’s going on in the world right now, so I’m super excited to be a part of this time. Of course, I always support women speaking up,” she said. “I’m super excited about the time we are living in right now—especially for my daughter.”

And earlier in January during a press conference from Puerto Rico, where she and boyfriend Alex Rodriguez were helping with post-Hurricane Maria recovery efforts, Lopez gave a powerful speech about the Time’s Up movement. “Today is the Golden Globes in Los Angeles, and a lot of the women, with hashtag Time’s Up, are standing up for equality—to be treated equally and for [ending] sexual harassment,” she said in a video shared on Instagram. “And I stand here, in black, today, doing the same from far away. And it’s the same thing here in Puerto Rico; we want to be treated equally.”