Wednesday 26 September 2018

'I've faced sexual harassment throughout my entire career...I've been doing this since I was 12', says Jessica Alba

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

Jessica Alba attends the Valentino show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2017 on October 2, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
Jessica Alba attends the Valentino show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2017 on October 2, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
Actress Jessica Alba of "Dark Angel" arrives at the 27th Annual People's Choice Awards January 7, 2001 in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Chris Weeks/Liaison)
Jessica Alba at the 2000 FOX presentation for the Television Critics Association, for the show 'Dark Angel'.
Jessica Alba Visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on October 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for NBC)
Jessica Alba speaks onstage for Passion Play: How Jessica Alba and Mario Batali Created Multichannel Marvels during the Fast Company Innovation Festival at 92nd Street Y on October 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Fast Company)
Jessica Alba and producer Cash Warren at the Oscars Vanity Fair Party 2017. Picture: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Jessica Alba and producer Cash Warren at the Oscars Vanity Fair Party 2017. Picture: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Actress Jessica Alba attends Marie Claire's Image Maker Awards 2017 at Catch LA on January 10, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Marie Claire)
Jessica Alba visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on August 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for NBC)
Jessica Alba (L) and Cash Warren attends The 2017 Baby2Baby Gala presented by Paul Mitchell on November 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Baby2Baby)

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.

Jessica Alba at the 2000 FOX presentation for the Television Critics Association, for the show 'Dark Angel'.
Jessica Alba at the 2000 FOX presentation for the Television Critics Association, for the show 'Dark Angel'.

“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.

“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.

Jessica Alba and producer Cash Warren at the Oscars Vanity Fair Party 2017. Picture: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Jessica Alba and producer Cash Warren at the Oscars Vanity Fair Party 2017. Picture: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

“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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