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In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein rape accusations that have come to light, more and more people are coming together to share their #MeToo stories … and to name names and try to break the culture of silence that allows sexual predators to operate.
Earlier this week, Gossip Girl actor Ed Westwick was accused of rape by an actress.
Actress Kristina Cohen came forward and named Ed Westwick, accusing him of having raped her in 2014.
At the time, Kristina was dating a producer who was friends with Ed Westwick.
When they joined him for dinner, she felt uncomfortable when Westwick allegedly suggested that they all have sex.
(It’s unclear if he was joking at that time, though sexual predators have been known to use “humor” to get a feel for someone, always with the plausible deniability of “hey, just kidding!” if they get called out on it)
Kristina Cohen then describes how she said that she was tired and wanted to leave, but her producer friend wanted to stay for another 20 minutes to be polite, so Ed Westwick suggested that she take a nap in the guest room.
Kristina recounts how she woke up with Westwick’s fingers inside of her.
She accuses Westwick of holding her down with his weight, grabbing her face and shaking her head, and raping her.
She says that the producer whom she was dating blamed her and also warned her against speaking out, both shaming and silencing her.
If you find that story as disturbing as we do, you should be happy to know that police are investigating Ed Westwick for rape.
Aurelie Wynn has found the courage to share her #MeToo story … and you’ll find her story familiar and disturbing.
“In July 2014, I went through a very similar ordeal with Ed Westwick, I was ubered by Ed to the Glendower Estates where he was renting following an invite from a girl friend of mine who was dating his roommate a cast member on Glee.”
The Glee actor involvement? That’s important. We’ll get to that.
“We all hung out until 5am, sun was starting to rise since it was summer so we all decided to get a few hours of shut eye since we all had events and things to do the next day and there are plenty of bedrooms.”
This is sounding all too familiar.
Now, Aurelie skips some details here. The specifics of a sexual assault can be very difficult to write down, especially on social media.
We imagine that she intends for us to read between the lines, based upon Kristina Cohen’s account and common sense. If she takes this to police, she’ll have to fill in the blanks.
“And like Kristina, I said no and he pushed me face down and was powerless under his weight. I was wearing a one piece bathing suit that he ripped, I was in complete shock, I am also very tiny.”
One, this is awful and horrifying.
Two, we can confirm that Aurelie is tiny, just based upon her social media photos. She takes selfies with short people and still looks short beside them. She’s very petite.
“When it was over I got my cellphone and found that the girl that had invited me had left or got kicked out. I had terrible service in the estate without access to the wifi and had to get another friend to get me an Uber out of there while Ed was passed out.”
Awful and frightening.
Aurelie Wynn continues.
“I told the guy I was seeing that I got raped, Mark Salling, and when he found out by who he pretended not to know him, then blamed me for it and broke it off with me.”
A little over a month ago, Glee actor Mark Salling plead guilty to child porn charges. He’s gross, even beyond the victim-blaming that Aurelie describes.
It’s worth noting that, though the case fell through, Mark Salling was also accused of rape. (That case was thrown out because of how much time had passed — don’t even get us started on that)
Aurelie continues to describe the bitter aftermath:
“My other friends and people around me told me it was best not to say anything, to not be ‘that girl’ and that no one would believe me and think I was just out trying to get my 10 seconds of fame.”
That closely mirrors what Kristina has described after her own alleged rape.
Sadly, too many people — not just those in the entertainment business — would prefer to not know or not believe that evil walks among us, ruining lives and still being adored by fans and friends.
“And so I kept quiet and soon got to see and hear how prevalent sexual assault and intimidation goes on in this industry…to the point where I questioned how much I really wanted to be in entertainment as I didn’t see it getting better.”
She reached her conclusion.
“I’ve since moved on from acting and wanted just to reenforce Kristin Cohen’s claim[s] as I believe them to be true.”
It is so sad that she got chased out of pursuing her dream by such a nightmarish experience.
But it’s astoundingly brave for her to speak up now and lend her voice to Kristian Cohen’s accusation.
“I believe you Kristina Cohen and thank you for speaking up so eloquently and really encompassing what young female actresses have to go through at the hands of men like Ed Westwick.”
She credits Kristina and her story for encouraging her to share her own.
“Without you I would not have had the strength to speak up publicly about my ordeal. #metoo“
There are too many #MeToo stories, and yet we know that millions of women have yet to share theirs.
We need to make this world a better, safer place.
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In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal involving accusations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and a pervasive culture of silence, more and more women are stepping forward with stories that they’ve kept quiet for too long.
Because public images don’t always match the real person behind the scenes, sometimes these accusations can come as quite a shock.
Actress Heather Lind has come forward with her #MeToo story … and she’s accusing none other than former US President, George H.W. Bush.
41st President George H.W. Bush is mostly remembered for his one-term Presidency, for his Vice President’s spelling gaffe, and for his infamous “read my lips” line that, like so many political promises, was nothing but empty words.
Oh, and for fathering George W. Bush, who would go on to be a President so infamous that it took the election of an orange menace to overshadow the possibly irreparable harm that he did to the US and its global image.
These days, H.W. Bush is in a wheelchair, and time and contrast have softened his image considerably, so that even those who were once his fiercest political critics don’t have many issues with him anymore.
But actress Heather Lind, known for her portrayal of Anna Strong in the AMC series, Turn: Washington’s Spies, has come forward with an accusation, sharing her lengthy #MeToo story on Instagram.
And what she has to say is not political, but deeply personal.
Her lengthy post begins:
“I was disturbed today by a photo I saw of President Barack Obama shaking hands with George H. W. Bush in a gathering of ex-presidents organizing aid to states and territories damaged by recent hurricanes.”
That, in and of itself, is not disturbing. It’s a great cause, actually.
“I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served. And I feel pride and reverence toward many of the men in the photo.”
That’s more than a lot could say. (Personally, I could say that about one of them without reservation)
“When I got the chance to meet George H. W. Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo.”
Oh gosh. We can see why the photo hit home for her.
“He didn’t shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side.”
She’s not clear about how he allegedly touched her, and … it really shouldn’t matter whether he grabbed her butt or did something more invasive.
Sexual assault is wrong.
“He told me a dirty joke. And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again.”
Awful. But politeness kept her from responding, it seems.
She wasn’t, she says, the only one who noticed.
“Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say ‘not again.'”
Well, none of us can speak to what Barbara Bush was really thinking at the time. But if that really was her noticing and just feeling exhasperation instead of horror … that is alarming on a number of levels.
“His security guard told me I shouldn’t have stood next to him for the photo. We were instructed to call him Mr. President.”
One, that’s awful.
Two, that makes us wonder if George H.W. Bush is experiencing some form of dementia that is eroding his impulse-control.
Three, it would not be unheard of for wheelchair-bound old men to grope and harass pretty young women and get away with it just because they’re old and in wheelchairs. Especially when that man is powerful.
Heather Lind reflects upon that terrible experience.
“It seems to me a President’s power is in his or her capacity to enact positive change, actually help people, and serve as a symbol of our democracy.”
True. There’s so much more to being President than being Commander in Chief.
“He relinquished that power when he used it against me and, judging from the comments of those around him, countless other women before me. What comforts me is that I too can use my power, which isn’t so different from a President really.”
That’s one way of looking at it.
“I can enact positive change. I can actually help people. I can be a symbol of my democracy. I can refuse to call him President, and call out other abuses of power when I see them.”
Those are good things to do, right?
“I can vote for a President, in part, by the nature of his or her character, knowing that his or her political decisions must necessarily stem from that character.”
We can all do that.
“My fellow cast-mates and producers helped me that day and continue to support me.”
It’s good that she has a support network.
“I am grateful for the bravery of other women who have spoken up and written about their experiences.”
Remember, folks — strength in numbers. Just like Evan Rachel Wood says.
“And I thank President Barack Obama for the gesture of respect he made toward George H. W. Bush for the sake of our country, but I do not respect him. #metoo.”
To be clear, that second “him” means George H.W. Bush. Pronouns can be kind of vague.
That is heavy stuff.
While Heather Lind’s story evoked an outpouring of support, it seems that some people bristled over a former President being accused.
Because Heather Lind’s Instagram has been bombarded with hate.
So much so that Heather has deleted the original post. Unfortunately, even pictures of her holding her baby are getting the nastiest messages in the comments that you can imagine.
Sexual assault should not be a political issue, folks. There should not be two sides to this issue.
Have we learned nothing from the #MeToo movement?
Former President George H.W. Bush is the latest person accused of sexual assault. Actress Heather Lind says she was posing with the wheelchair-bound former Prez back in 2014 when he grabbed her from behind. She says, “I found it disturbing because I…
An actress has sued The Weinstein Company, claiming what other women have alleged … that Harvey Weinstein lured her into the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, demanded a massage and then forced oral sex on her. Dominique Huett filed the lawsuit,…
All the Harvey Weinstein news that’s been coming out for the past several days … it sure has been tough to stomach, huh?
Every single day — sometimes it feels like nearly every single hour — we hear new details about all the horrible things he’s done throughout his career.
A new woman comes forward with a new story, filled with new horrors, as if our faith in humanity wasn’t shaky enough these days.
And the stories aren’t even just limited to the crimes of Harvey Weinstein: tons of celebrities are feeling inspired to share stories of sexual harassment they’ve experienced throughout their careers, regardless of who the perpetrator was.
We’ve heard (or been reminded) of some pretty terrible tales about Ben Affleck, and actors like Terry Crews and James Van Der Beek have made it clear that men are victims of sexual assault in Hollywood, too.
But now we’re hearing a new story — one about George Clooney.
And it sure is a doozy.
Let’s think back, around 20 years ago, to a time when George was on a little show called ER.
For the first three seasons of the show, George acted alongside a woman named Vanessa Marquez, who played the role of Nurse Wendy Goldman.
Vanessa didn’t return for the fourth season though, and except for a few small roles here and there, she hasn’t acted since.
And that’s because, as she claims, she was blacklisted from the industry after speaking out about sexual harassment on the set of the show.
The whole thing began when George made a statement about Harvey Weinstein — the two had worked together extensively over the years.
In the statement, he called Harvey’s actions “indefensible,” and claimed that “I’ve never seen any of this behavior — ever.”
Vanessa discussed the matter on Twitter, where she wrote “B.S. Clooney helped blacklist me when I spoke up abt harassment on ER. ‘Women who don’t play the game lose career’ I did.”
She says that she’s been telling this story since it happened over 20 years ago, but since George Clooney is such a beloved actor, no one believes her.
“Clooney is doing pre damage control,” she theorized about his Harvey statements. “He has his own secrets and I know them!”
She called him a “predator” and a “hypocrite,” and said that “He’s not who he pretends to be,” he’s “a monster in his own way.”
As for the harassment she faced on the set of ER, she said that she experienced both sexual assault — she referred to what happened to her as “pussy grabbing” — and that things also got racial, and she heard “Mexican jokes EVERY day.”
“Happened to all the women,” she claimed. “They chose 2 b victims. I fought.”
To be clear, she never says that George was one of the people who harassed her on set, just that he was involved in blacklisting her after she brought the issue to light.
Many people are alarmed at this story, because there’s never really been any horror stories about George Clooney.
And George himself has already taken the time to address this story.
“I had no idea Vanessa was blacklisted,” he said. “I take her at her word. I was not a writer or a producer or a director on that show.”
“I had nothing to do with casting. I was an actor and only an actor. If she was told I was involved in any decision about her carer then she was lied to.”
“The fact that I couldn’t affect her career is only surpassed by the fact that I wouldn’t,” he concluded.
Vanessa, meanwhile, stands by her story.
What awful story are we going to hear next?
The news out of Hollywood this week has mostly centered around the appalling sexual abuse accusations against Harvey Weinstein, the renowned mogul who was, until his recent public downfall, one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood.
Last week, the New York Times confirmed decades of rumors about Weinstein’s harassment of female colleagues in a scathing exposé.
On Tuesday, The New Yorker reported even more shocking claims, such as the allegations that Weinsteon raped actress Asia Argento when she was just 21 years old.
Weinstein is responsible for creating some of the biggest careers in Hollywood, but thankfully, the stars who got their big breaks in movies produced by the the 64-year-old have been quick to condemn his actions.
Yesterday, Ben Affleck spoke out against Weinstein, but his comments resulted in immediate backlash from a longtime collegaue.
Actress Rose McGowan accused Affleck of lying and claimed the Oscar winner, who first made a name for himself in the Weinstein-produced 1997 release Good Will Hunting, has known about Weinstein’s predatory behavior for decades and was complicit in keeping it under wraps.
Now, Affleck is facing another round of backlash, thanks to an allegation from early in his career that’s resurfaced in light of recent events.
In 2003, Affleck appeared on MTV’s TRL, which Hilarie Burton was then co-hosting.
The actress, who rose to fame on the CW’s One Tree Hill and now stars on Fox’s Lethal Weapon, says that Affleck groped her breasts following his appearance on the show.
Affleck was 30 and already a well-established stae at the time of his appearance.
Burton was 20 and just beginning to make a name for herself in Hollywood.
The allegations against Affleck are making headlines today following Affleck’s full-thorated condemnation of Weinstein’s exploitation of numerous young women.
When a New York-based writer named Shanice Brim reminded the world that “[Affleck] grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once” Burton responded simply:
“I didn’t forget.”
“I’m so sorry that happened to you,” Brim wrote back. “It’s infuriating that people never bring up all the gross, predatory things he’s done.”
“Seriously, thank you for that. I was a kid,” Burton said.
As evidence of her claim, Burton posted a montage of clips from TRL which included a snippet in which she’s seen telling the camera, “He comes over and tweaks my left boob,” apparently in reference to Affleck.
Later in the video, the actor is shown asking her, “How old are you? 19?”
Burton went on to offer support for the women have come forward as victims of Hollywood’s culture of harassment.
“Girls. I’m so impressed with you brave ones,” Burton tweeted.
“I had to laugh back then so I wouldn’t cry. Sending love.”
Affleck has yet to comment on Burton’s allegations.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.
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