Monday 16 July 2018

I’ve faced sexual harassment throughout my career – Jessica Alba

The actress and businesswoman told CNN Talk Asia ‘it’s about time’ for the #MeToo movement.

Jessica Alba has spoken of experiencing sexual harassment throughout her career (PA)
Jessica Alba has spoken of experiencing sexual harassment throughout her career (PA)

By Isabel Togoh, Press Association

Jessica Alba has spoken of experiencing sexual harassment “all the time along the way” throughout her career.

The Fantastic Four actress, who broke into the industry as a teenager, said she accepted that “that’s the way you were going to be treated”.

The 37-year-old also told CNN’s Talk Asia programme that she wished she had had help from female mentors.

Asked if she had experienced sexual harassment, she said: “Oh yeah, of course I have. Yeah. All the time along the way.

“I don’t know, I guess you shouldn’t have accepted it, but, as a young actress growing up in the business, you just accepted that that’s the way you were going to be treated.

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Jessica Alba arriving for the Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (Dennis Van Tine/PA Images)

“You could either go this way or that way with it, and do I think I could’ve gotten some opportunities if I would’ve done this versus that? Sure, but for me, that’s just not something I was comfortable with, frankly … I mean, I’ve been doing this since I was 12.

“Imagine, imagine what that’s like.”

Reflecting on her own experiences, Alba said it was “about time” for the #MeToo movement, which has seen women in the entertainment industry and beyond come forward with stories of sexual harassment and assault.

“I think things have been imbalanced for way too long and I think it’s about time.

“No-one gave me a handout. No-one gave me an opportunity. I had to fight for it, but it would be nice if I had some people who helped me along the way and I didn’t have to fall on my face so much, and it would’ve been also nice to have more women mentor me and help me along the way.”

The mother-of-three said her experiences had led her to teach her daughters about taking control of their bodies.

She told host Anna Coren: “There’s warning signs and there’s that feeling in your stomach and you have to listen to that feeling.”

Alba added that, although there is an awareness about the need for diversity in the film-making industry, she hopes the next decade will usher in more diversity “behind the camera and in front of the camera”.

Press Association

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