Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal came to light last week, countless more women have bravely come forward to share the stories of their own experiences as survivors of sexual harassment by men in positions of power. In a Tumblr post this week, Lili Reinhart described a time when she was left feeling “completely violated” by an older male colleague who tried to take things further than she wanted while they were on a date.
“In light of the Harvey Weinstein allegations…I feel the need to share a story of my own personal experience where a man in a position of power over me, used that said power to try and take advantage of me,” she wrote. “I’m not comfortable giving specific details about the situation because I don’t feel it’s necessary. All that matters is that he tried to force himself on me when we were on a date.” She continued, “I had to stop him and say ‘No, I don’t want that,’ and ‘I can’t do that.’ 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.”
Reinhart remembered how she asked the man to take her home, but she soon realized that he was driving in the direction of his apartment. “I knew if I made it there, something bad was going to happen to me. I told him to drop me off at my home, that I didn’t want to go back to his place. He said some snarky comment but reluctantly brought me to where I was staying,” 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.”
The Riverdale actress wrote that the man accused her of leading him on and said that she had “misled” him. She said that, over time, he grew angrier and more defensive, continued to call her “the most manipulative woman he’d ever met,” and refused to talk to her about the situation, leading her to believe it had indeed been her fault. (It definitely was not.)
“I was miserable. And I felt that I needed to keep my mouth shut about the entire situation because 1. I figured no one would believe me and 2. he played a much bigger role in this project than me…he had more power. 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,” she wrote. “So I understand how these women feel — the women coming forward about being harassed and assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. Feeling that they’d rather keep quiet at the time than start a discussion that could lead to them being called a liar or overly dramatic.”
The 21-year-old added, “I stand with them. I believe them. I believe in standing up for yourself as a woman and coming forward about 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.”
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