With Time honoring “The Silence Breakers” as their 2017 Person of the Year, it only made sense for them to sit down with some of the voices who have been speaking up about sexual assault and harassment!
In a rare interview, Taylor Swift actually opened up about her sexual assault lawsuit after she was allegedly groped by a radio DJ in 2013, as Rose McGowan continued to speak up about Harvey Weinstein, and Terry Crews sharing his thoughts on victim blaming.
Starting with the songstress, she explained why she felt it was so important for her to report the alleged assault, telling the glossy:
“At the time, I was headlining a major arena tour and there were a number of people in the room that saw this plus a photo of it happening. I figured that if he would be brazen enough to assault me under these risky circumstances and high stakes, imagine what he might do to a vulnerable, young artist if given the chance. It was important to report the incident to his radio station because I felt like they needed to know.”
And added how she felt having to testify, including watching her mom, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, be harassed in court:
“When I testified, I had already been in court all week and had to watch this man’s attorney bully, badger and harass my team including my mother over inane details and ridiculous minutiae, accusing them, and me, of lying. My mom was so upset after her cross-examination, she was physically too ill to come to court the day I was on the stand. I was angry. In that moment, I decided to forego any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened. This man hadn’t considered any formalities when he assaulted me, and his lawyer didn’t hold back on my mom├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥why should I be polite? I’m told it was the most amount of times the word ‘ass’ has ever been said in Colorado Federal Court.”
As for any advice for fans, Tay divulged:
“My advice is that you not blame yourself and do not accept the blame others will try to place on you. You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes or 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after he or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you.”
In case you’re wondering, the 27-year-old’s alleged assaulter, David Mueller, still hasn’t paid her the $1 from her countersuit:
“When the jury found in my favor, the man who sexually assaulted me was court-ordered to give me a symbolic $1. To this day he has not paid me that dollar, and I think that act of defiance is symbolic in itself.”
Rose also shared her story, talking about her attacker, the disgraced movie producer:
“I’ve been speaking out about this man for twenty years. This monster specifically. I don’t like naming his name. Everybody knows it. I think some people get the faces and the names they deserve. But this process for me has been getting people ready to listen. I look at it as if I was human trafficked. But for a lot of money, for years, internationally. If you can have an agent, a manager, a lawyer or the monster negotiate how long your breasts can be seen for, and then they profit off it, is that not it?”
The 44-year-old expressed how she felt when Harvey’s history of alleged sexual assault and harassment became public with more and more articles:
“It’s intense. For the last ten months while I was juggling these pieces, I was also being sued or harassed. People don’t understand what it’s like to be terrorized, when all you’re trying to do is stop rape. I have ex-Israeli spies after me. I have monsters everywhere. In the last two years, I don’t trust anybody who’s inserted themselves into my life. I can’t. I can’t afford to because that’s really life and death for me at this point. They tried to silence us, and they burn us at the stake, and that’s what they do. But I won’t let them. Most of my work├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥the movie I directed, Dawn; my upcoming book Brave; the album I have coming out├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥all these things, it’s like I’m making it for posterity. To be studied because, these people, at the end of the day, I think they would like to kill me. The bigger picture here is that he’s the monster of everybody. He’s what the boogie man looks like in every industry. And if you can slay that one, we can slay all of them. Yeah├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥collateral damage sucks, but also, don’t rape. Don’t sexually harass. Don’t f*ck with my life. Don’t f*ck with another woman’s life. Don’t f*ck with that little girl. Don’t f*ck with that old lady. Just get the f*ck back. That’s generally my message.”
The actress continued, revealing how the assault has affected her:
“I had to go finish filming a movie for the rapist after I was attacked. And for seventeen years of my career, everything that came out of my mouth was something a man wrote for me to say. Why am I leaving my body to play a two-dimensional version of myself? For a man’s pleasure. For the man shooting me, for the man editing me, for the man directing me, for the man producing me, for the man selling me. It’s really a sick industry.”
And talking about the response she received from being so open about it, she candidly shared:
“I had amazing support the two days following the release of the Times piece. Dead silence, of course, from people in Hollywood. Jessica Chastain eventually retweeted something a couple days later. But it was deafening. And I never expected any bravery from this place. They’ve never been brave… People forget that there’s a human behind this. Someone who is very hurt and wronged. But that’s okay. It fuels my fire. They really f*cked with the wrong person.”
Terry has had his own experience with it, as he’s currently suing William Morris Endeavors agent Adam Venit for an alleged sexual assault which occurred at a Hollywood party last year.
Going into detail about why he decided to go public with claims his genitals were groped, the actor said:
“I’d actually just read a comment someone made on Twitter about one of Weinstein’s accusers. It went something like: She’s just looking for attention and a payday. It really affected me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I remember going to my phone and I started writing. And I couldn’t stop. What it became was this sixteen-tweet missive from me. I just remember having to say what I felt. I was really angry because these women were being discounted. These women were being discarded. Their pain was just├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥it was nothing. I wanted to join in. I wanted to say something. I wanted to support. But I did have to let these women know they weren’t alone. And that I understood. My whole mission was to give them strength. Don’t accept the shame that people are giving you. Because that’s what it was. They were being shamed. They were being victimized again. I just couldn’t stand for it.”
Crews described feeling “free” after sharing his story, adding:
“Until men stand up and say, ‘This harassment, this abuse, these assaults are wrong,’ nothing will change. If I was silent, it would mean I’m consenting to all of it. I always have felt women have been able to take care of themselves, 100%. But men need to hold other men accountable. That’s my thing… You need to be held accountable for the things you say, the things you do. What it came from is literally a belief that as a man you are more valuable than a woman. The reason I have the authority to say it is because I was like it. I truly believed I was more valuable than my wife and kids. Until I had a major paradigm shift in my own life├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥it was like I hit rock bottom in order for me to see that I had it all wrong.”
He’s also not standing for the “witch hunt” narrative in Hollywood either!
“If it’s not a witch, it’s a witch hunt. If there are actual witches there, we need to stop them. I have people coming to me saying, ‘Hey, man. You could ruin this guy’s life.’ Very clever. That’s a very clever thing to say. But he ruined it when he did it. All these people need to be disciplined into knowing what is acceptable and what isn’t. The only way to do that is by holding people accountable every time. This is something that gives my life meaning.”
These stars can’t be silenced!!
And we hope they can inspire other victims to speak up, too!
[Image via Derrick Salters/FayesVision/Apega/WENN.]