Lucy Hale is adding her voice to the growing chorus of people who refuse to stay silent about sexual misconduct. Speaking out in a new interview with HauteLiving, the actor shared a #MeToo story of her own, adding that her experience is far from an anomaly.
“I’ve experienced stuff on the small side, but assault is assault,” she said in the interview. “I think there are a lot of people who have been intoxicated and taken advantage of. It’s happened to me and people I know. It’s very common. Luckily, I’ve been unscathed; nothing’s hurt me too badly.”
Hale previously alluded to her experience in January with two since-deleted social media posts. “I never understood sexual assault until tonight. I always sympathized, but never felt the pain of it until right now,” she wrote on Instagram. After deleting the post, she posted a screenshot of the message on Twitter, writing, “I deleted it from Instagram. But this needs to be heard,” along with a screenshot of her Instagram post, according to Us Weekly. A week later, she spoke about the importance of the #MeToo movement in beginning conversations about sexual assault that weren’t possible before.
“To keep it somewhat vague…I think along with a lot of other people we’ve all had our experiences like that and until it’s happened to you, you kind of don’t really understand how it can affect you and everyone around you and I just feel very honored to be around a lot of powerful women that are speaking up about it,” she told Us Weekly. “And I think that’s where the change starts, is when people start talking because you never know who’s listening or whose life you can impact.
“You know, you see the change happening it’s really an exciting time even though it started from dark times for people, I think the pay off will be extraordinary,” she added.
Echoing the sentiment in an interview with People from around the same time, Hale said she’s grateful to both the spearheads of the #MeToo movement and her supportive fans. “I feel grateful to have people that I look up to that are speaking up about things,” the actor said. “Not just women — I think men have sometimes suffered the same way that women have. And as long as a conversation is going or a conversation has started, which it has, that’s the best thing you could ever ask for because that makes people feel not alone.
“I think if powerful people can make a difference by speaking up, which they are, that will trickle down, hopefully,” she continued.