Wednesday 21 November 2018

James Van Der Beek recounts experience of being sexually harassed

His messages came after Brooklyn 99 actor Terry Crews shared his own story of being abused.

James Van Der Beek
James Van Der Beek

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

James Van Der Beek has shared details of his own experiences being sexually harassed by unnamed “older, powerful men”, while calling the accusations against Harvey Weinstein “criminal”.

The former Dawson’s Creek actor is one of the latest stars to condemn the film producer, who has a growing number of sexual harassment allegations made against him from a number of women in the industry.

In a series of tweets, the 40-year-old actor said he can relate to the women who had kept silent for so long, because he has also endured unwanted attention of a sexual nature.

Harvey Weinstein

He said he can understand the “unwarranted shame, powerlessness and inability to blow the whistle”.

Van Der Beek wrote: “For anyone judging the women who stayed silent, read this for perspective. Also for anyone brushing off harassment as ‘boys being boys.’

“What Weinstein is being accused of is criminal. What he’s admitted to is unacceptable – in any industry. I applaud everybody speaking out.

“I’ve had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I’ve had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger…”

He added: “I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle.

“There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome.”

His messages came after author JK Rowling praised actor Terry Crews for recounting his own story of abuse.

Rowling shared Brooklyn 99 star Crews’ first post, and wrote: “This thread is one of the best and bravest things I’ve ever read on Twitter.”

In a series of 16 messages, Crews said he does “understand and empathize with those who have remained silent” over their alleged encounters with Weinstein, because he was once “groped” by a Hollywood executive.

“This whole thing with Harvey Weinstein is giving me PTSD. Why? Because this kind of thing happened to ME,” he tweeted.

“My wife n I were at a Hollywood function last year n a high level Hollywood executive came over 2 me and groped my privates.

“Jumping back I said What are you doing?! My wife saw everything n we looked at him like he was crazy. He just grinned like a jerk.

“I was going to kick his ass right then — but I thought twice about how the whole thing would appear.

“240 lbs. Black Man stomps out Hollywood Honcho” would be the headline the next day.”

Crews said he “would have been in jail” if he had defended himself, and that the unidentified man apologised to him the next day but “never really explained why he did what he did”.

The actor said he feared being “ostracised”, particularly because the other man had such “power and influence”.

“I let it go. And I understand why many women who this happens to let it go,” Crews added.

“I understand and empathize with those who have remained silent. But Harvey Weinstein is not the only perpetrator.

“Hollywood is not the only business we’re this happens, and to the casualties of this behavior — you are not alone.”

Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment by a number of stars, including Cara Delevingne, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rose McGowan and Lea Seydoux.

On Tuesday, the movie mogul was accused of rape by three women – claims Weinstein “unequivocally denies” – and his British wife Georgina Chapman announced she was leaving him.

Press Association

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