De beerput van Hollywood is nog lang niet leeg. De volgende schokkende bekentenis komt van actrice Kristina Cohen, die verklaart dat Gossip Girls' Ed Westwick haar drie jaar geleden heeft verkracht. Een man met wie ze toentertijd aan het daten was, bracht haar schijnbaar naar Eds huis, waar hij haar verkrachtte.
Cohen noemt de man met wie ze toen aan het daten was 'de producer'. Toen Westwick in zijn huis voorstelde dat ze 'allemaal maar moesten neuken,' wilde Cohen vertrekken, maar 'de producer' wilde het voor Westwick niet ongemakkelijk maken en zette haar toen onder druk om te blijven. Ed Westwick stelde vervolgens voor dat Cohen maar een dutje moest gaan doen, maar toen ze wakker werd voelde ze 'zijn vingers haar lichaam binnengaan.'
In haar Facebookpost schrijft ze:
'The last month has been incredibly difficult. Like so many women I too have a story of sexual assault, and the outpouring of stories have been both triggering and emotionally exhausting. I've gone back and forth over and over again, unsure if I should speak up. If I could speak. And if so, will I be heard?
I was sexually assaulted three years ago. It was a dark time in my life. My mom was dying of cancer and I didn't have the support system or time to process and deal with the aftermath of the rape. I buried my pain and guilt to make space for the onslaught that came after my mom's death, just three months later.'
Ze vervolgt daarna met haar verhaal over Ed Westwick:
'I was briefly dating a producer who was friends with the actor Ed Westwick. It was this producer who brought me up to Ed's house where I met Ed for the first time. I wanted to leave when Ed suggested "we should all fuck". But the producer didn't want to make Ed feel awkward by leaving. Ed insisted we stay for dinner. I said I was tired and wanted to leave, trying to get out of what was already an uncomfortable situation. Ed suggested I nap in the guest bedroom. The producer said we would stay for just another 20 more minutes to smooth everything over, and then we could leave.'
'So I went and laid down in the guest room where I eventually fell asleep, I was woken up abruptly by Ed on top of me, his fingers entering my body. I told him to stop, but he was strong. I fought him off as hard as I could but he grabbed my face in his hands, shaking me, telling me he wanted to fuck me. I was paralyzed, terrified. I couldn't speak, I could no longer move. He held me down and raped me.'
'It was a nightmare, and the days following weren't any better.'
Vervolgens gaf de producer Cohen de schuld en zei dat ze 'zelf actief had meegedaan'. Ook drukte hij haar op het hart dat 'Ed en zijn mensen' achter haar aan zouden komen en haar zouden ruïneren:
'The producer put the blame on me, telling me I was an active participant. Telling me that I can't say anything because Ed will have people come after me, destroy me, and that I could forget about an acting career. Saying there's no way I can go around saying Ed "raped" me and that I don't want to be "that girl".'
'And for the longest time, I believed him. I didn't want to be "that girl".'
'I now realize the ways in which these men in power prey on women, and how this tactic is used so frequently in our industry, and surely, in many others.'
Kristina Cohen hoopt dat ze met haar verhaal andere slachtoffers een hart onder de riem kan steken, net zoals anderen dat de afgelopen tijd voor haar hebben gedaan:
'I'm sickened to see men like Ed respected in such a public way. Interviewed by prestigious platforms such as the Oxford Union Society at Oxford University, where he was honored as one of their "People who Shape our World." How does this end? Men like Ed using fame and power to rape and intimidate but then continue through the world collecting accolades.'
'I hope my coming forward will help others to know that they are not alone, that they are not to blame, and it is not their fault. Just as the other women and men coming forward have helped me to realize the same. I hope that my stories and the stories of others help to reset and realign the toxic environments and power imbalances that have created these monsters.'
Ed Westwick heeft (nog) niet gereageerd op de beschuldigingen.