Wednesday 24 January 2018

Kelly Brook slammed for suggesting drunken young women put themselves at risk

The model and TV personality spoke during an appearance on Loose Women.

Kelly Brook
Kelly Brook

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Kelly Brook has been accused of “victim blaming” for saying that young women who get too drunk on nights out put themselves at risk of assault.

The TV personality and model, who appeared as a panellist on ITV’s Loose Women, discussed rapist John Worboys and his imminent release from prison, and how people should feel safe when getting into a black cab or taxi.

Black cab driver Worboys was jailed indefinitely in 2009, with a minimum term of eight years, for drugging and sexually assaulting women passengers, in one case raping a woman.

Brook said: “Surely, if you just called a family member and said, ‘please come and get me, I can’t get home’, someone would come and pick you up.”

Panellist Kaye Adams said: “But then we’re getting back to that assumption that it’s a dodgy thing to get into a cab, and you can’t go down that road because you’ve got to start from a position of trust.”

Brook said: “If you’re drunk, if you’ve had a few drinks, you’re so vulnerable, your guard is down, you just want to get home, and I think lots of young girls put themselves in that situation, and I just think if you are in that situation, just call somebody.

“Don’t get in a cab, don’t get on a train – you could get attacked on a train, walking home.”

Adams replied: “But you told us that your brother’s doing the Knowledge to be a black cab driver, wouldn’t you trust him?”

“Well, I wouldn’t go out and get silly drunk,” Brook said.

Asked by Adams about whether she trusts people, Brook replied: “No, obviously not.”

Brook later continued: “I think there are a lot of abusers, taxi drivers who have done this.

“You’re in a very vulnerable state, it’s late at night, you’ve had a few drinks, you are just a target for anyone who is going to do that. Whether it is a taxi driver – I’m not just blaming taxi drivers – it can be someone else on a night out, you are just vulnerable.

“You’ve had a drink, it’s late at night, you are a young woman, call someone you can trust and can give you advice on how to get home, I think that’s the best thing to do.”

Loose Women viewers took to Twitter to criticise Brook’s comments.

One wrote: “Kelly Brook about the victims attacked by #JohnWorboys: ‘those women put themselves in that situation’ … ummmm no, HE sexually assaulted/raped them!?!! There’s the toxic victim blaming culture for ya.”

Another said: “Recently succumbed to a little daytime TV. I have yet to witness a single intelligent discussion on @loosewomen. Today’s victim blaming comment from #KellyBrook topped it. #LooseWomen you do nothing for women!!!!

One wrote that her comments were “ridiculous” and that she had misunderstood “what rape is”.

One viewer posted several tweets, in which they said that Brook’s comments on Worboys “were full of victim blaming rhetoric”.

“She suggested that women don’t get in cabs or on trains but call a relative to pick them up instead – what if you can’t do that??

“Kelly Brook is really out of touch with reality and doesn’t understand the challenges and obstacles women actually face in terms of reporting rapes and sexual assault. Don’t put that onus on survivors but focus on tackling rape culture.

“I’m so over this notion that women must alter their behaviour and not do xyz to prevent them from being assaulted. I rolled my eyes so much whilst Kelly was talking that I think I’ve given myself a migraine.”

A representative for Brook has been contacted.

Press Association

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