Kaya Scodelario is the latest actress to face a new dilemma for speaking out about being sexually assaulted when she was a child. She fears the incident will forever define her. She’s not alone.
In an unintended consequence of the #MeToo movement, actresses fear being “defined” by their sexual harassment stories.
Scodelario revealed in a Tweet last October she had been sexually abused at the age of 12.
Although the response was positive, she fears being labeled.
“The response was wonderful, it was a relief but I am still dealing with it, and I am now dealing with a new side of it,” she said in a new interview.
“I will be asked about it forever now. I hope it doesn’t define me but it will always be under my name and I accept that – but I am proud I was brave enough to do it and I am grateful for the support I had from friends,” she added.
Scodelario said she was motivated to speak out by other women who had shared experiences. She hoped she would inspire others.
“It was taboo and it happened to someone we didn’t know, and #MeToo showed us it could happen to your friend, your sister, the women serving you food in a restaurant, it doesn’t just happen in movies,” she told Britain’s Metro.co.uk.
“And I remember thinking that if I was 12 years old and I had this horrific thing happen to me but I saw a woman I admired speaking up about it, it would have made me feel less guilty,” she added.
“So I thought if I can do that for one person then I owe it to my 12-year-old self.”
Reaction among actresses has been varied.
Selma Blair says she felt liberated by speaking out about her own sexual harassment.
The 45-year-old actress was one of several women who accused director James Toback of sexual harassment.
She claims he threatened to harm her if she ever told anyone about the incident, which occurred in 1999.
Toback allegedly propositioned her for sex and when she refused, blocked the door and forced her to watch as him masturbate against her leg.
“I am so hopeful. I felt so much better, I am totally free of that experience and so my experience is irrelevant now because I am free of it,” she said.
Lucy Hale revealed she had been sexually assaulted in a post on social media that she has since deleted.
“I just feel very honored to be around a lot of powerful women who are speaking up about it and I think that’s where the change starts,” she told USWeekly.