“I was sleeping one night on location and I woke up and he was filming me.”
After it was alleged last week that Harvey Weinstein has been sexually harassing and assaulting women "for decades," many celebrity women have come forward with their own accounts of similar experiences.
The New York Times printed the first allegations, followed by an expansive story in The New Yorker chronicling further claims of sexual malfeasance on the part of Weinstein, including rape, much of which he has denied as "patently false." His lawyer called the initial claims made by the Times "false and defamatory" and said legal action against the publication is being prepared. Since the allegations broke last Thursday, Weinstein's wife, Georgina Chapman, announced she was leaving him and he's checked into rehab in Arizona.
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Now Blake Lively has spoken out about her experience of being sexually harassed by a makeup artist, describing his behaviour as "terrifying."
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Speaking to the LA Times, Blake said:
He was saying things inappropriately, insisting on putting my lipstick on with his finger. I was sleeping one night on location and I woke up and he was filming me. I was clothed, but it was a very voyeuristic, terrifying thing to do.
Finally, after three months of complaining, they called me into my trailer and said, "We need to talk to you." I thought, "Well, finally, they're going to do something about this man who I had to have touching me all day." And they said, "Your dog left a poop behind the toilet in your dressing room and our janitor had to pick it up. And this is very serious and we can't have this happening again."
Eventually, Blake took the issue to her lawyer, which led to an investigation and the removal of the makeup artist from the project. However, she says the production manager still "wrote him a letter of recommendation," because "nobody wanted there to be bad blood."
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Speaking in a second interview, with The Hollywood Reporter, Blake went on to say that sexual assault is so commonplace in women's lives that we often don't acknowledge it as such.
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I've had plenty of things happen to me, whether it be trying on a dress for prom at some clothing store, to a director being inappropriate, to a guy walking down the street where you don't think: "Oh well, that wasn't actually sexual assault – that guy just, like, grabbed my butt."
And she highlighted how important it is for women to be believed when they share their experiences, and hopes that the current fury surrounding the Weinstein allegations will lead to an "uprising."
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The number one thing that can happen is that people who share their stories, people have to listen to them and trust them and people have to take them seriously. It's important that women are furious right now. It's important that there is an uprising. It's important that we don't stand for this and we focus on humanity in general and say: "This is unacceptable." It's also important to say that this exists everywhere, so remember to look everywhere. This isn't a single incident. This cannot happen, this should not happen, and it happens in every single industry.