Entertainment

Saturday 15 December 2018

Riverdale star Lili Reinhart says former co-star sexually harassed her as a teenager

She said an older male co-star tried to force himself on her

Lili Reinhart as Betty in Riverdale
Lili Reinhart as Betty in Riverdale
Lili Reinhart attends the Teen Choice Awards 2017 at Galen Center on August 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
Lili Reinhart attends the 2017 CW Upfront on May 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Lili Reinhart attends the at Chateau Marmont on January 14, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for ELLE)

Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Riverdale star Lili Reinhart has shared her own story of sexual harassment from an older man following the slew of allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein.

The actress, who plays Betty Cooper on the Netflix show, said she was sharing her experience to show how common assault and harassment is in the industry.

Lili Reinhart attends the Teen Choice Awards 2017 at Galen Center on August 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
Lili Reinhart attends the Teen Choice Awards 2017 at Galen Center on August 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

In a post on Tumblr headlined “In light of the Harvey Weinstein allegations…”, the star, 21, wrote: “I feel the need to share a story of my own personal experience where a man in a position of power over me, used that said power to try and take advantage of me.

“I was a teenager working on a project.. when I started to have a crush on a guy I was working with.

"He was incredibly charming and charismatic – we flirted for a while before we went on our first date. He was pretty significantly older than me, but I thought of myself as mature so it didn’t seem like a big deal.

“I’m not comfortable giving specific details about the situation because I don’t feel it’s necessary. All that matters is that he tried to force himself on me when we were on a date.

Lili Reinhart attends the at Chateau Marmont on January 14, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for ELLE)
Lili Reinhart attends the at Chateau Marmont on January 14, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for ELLE)

Reinhart said she managed to walk away, but said “I remember feeling like this was a scene right out of a horror movie.”

She added: “After awkward silence and me feeling completely violated and uncomfortable, he convinced me to get in his car – I assumed he was going to drive me home. I didn’t have any money and couldn’t afford a taxi or an Uber. So I figured it was okay.

“As we were driving, I realized he was trying to take me back to his apartment. And I knew if I made it there, something bad was going to happen to me. I told him to drop me off at my home, that I didn’t want to go back to his place. He said some snarky comment but reluctantly brought me to where I was staying.

“The next day I tried to talk to him about the situation. I told him how uncomfortable it made me and how wrong it felt.

“Thinking back on it now, the situation is hard for me to swallow. I was so young and didn’t know how to handle the situation. I just knew how wrong it felt and that I had been violated.

“This guy proceeded to tell me that it was my fault for leading him on. Saying that ‘I seemed like a sexual girl and that I’d be down for it’. That I misled him.”

Reinhart said in the days following the man grew angry at the situation and became defensive.

She added that he said she was “a tease” and “the most manipulative woman he’d ever met”.

She continued: “I felt like I had genuinely done something wrong – that maybe I really was being a tease to him and led him to believe that I wanted to be with him sexually.”

The actress said she felt she needed to stay quiet because she thought nobody would believe her and the man had a bigger role in the project and was more powerful.

“If I said something, maybe the production would be halted… people would be put out of work. I would be looked at as dramatic and a diva, no one would want to work with me again.”

“I understand how these women feel – the women coming forward about being harassed and assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. Feeling that they’d rather keep quiet at the time than start a discussion that could lead to them being called a liar or overly dramatic.

“I stand with them. I believe them. I believe in standing up for yourself as a woman and coming forward about sexual harassment.

“I’m coming forward about my own experience to further express how common these assaults are in this industry and how important it is that we take action to fight against it.”

Press Association

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