Due to the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood is finally getting the attention it deserves. And while Carrie Fisher died last year, a Hollywood sexual harassment story shared by Fisher’s friend to a Tucson, Arizona radio station proves that the beloved actor and writer would not have tolerated any of this.
Heather Ross — who is originally from Tucson but lives in California and works in Hollywood — spoke to the Arizona radio station 94.9 MixFM about her own experience being sexual assaulted by a Hollywood producer nearly 20 years ago. It wasn’t Weinstein who victimized her, but it was another “high-profile, Oscar-winning producer.”
While at Sony studios, Fisher visited this producer and personally delivered a Tiffany box wrapped in a white bow. Ross recounted that Fisher said:
While Fisher’s actions don’t erase what this producer did to Ross, they are a reminder of the brave, unflinching, no-bullshit type of woman that Fisher was.
Ross explained that she was new to Hollywood at the time of the incident and she had met both the producer and Fisher online through chat rooms. Before she met up with the producer, Ross said, “There was nothing sexual online at all. And he was like, ‘Would you like to meet up — have lunch or dinner — and we can talk about getting you involved in the project?'”
She didn’t know how to react when the producer physically pinned her down in his car. And she also remembered how she was overweight and didn’t think anyone in the industry would want to take advantage of her, which she admitted, “I know that that is a horrible thing to say, but I thought I was safe. I thought that I was protected by not being attractive.”
While Ross thought she was “safe” because of how she looked, her story proves that perpetrators of sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood and throughout the world don’t only target “perfect tens” — which is in direct contrast to what actress Mayim Bialik implied in her New York Times op-ed piece about Weinstein.
“I felt safe thinking, ‘OK, I’m overweight, I’m not attractive to these people, I’m not looking to become an actress,'” Ross said. “So when I met with this guy and when it happened, it happened so quickly that I was ashamed of myself. I thought I did something wrong. And I thought, ‘Well, maybe by meeting up with him…I was asking for it.'”
Ross added, “So I stayed quiet for years because I didn’t want the retribution.”
Although Ross only told family and friends for her own safety, her friend Fisher took it upon herself to do what Ross felt unable to do. Ross said:
“That’s just how she was,” Ross said. “I miss her dearly. She stood up for people.”
And it’s in times like these that Fisher’s fearless, feminist presence is missed even more.