As if the allegations against media mogul Harvey Weinstein couldn’t be more damning, model and actress Cara Delevingne just came forward with an unsettling account of a time when Weinstein sexually harassed her in a hotel room.
The account, released via a statement to journalist Yashar Ali, made us have a visceral reaction. Not only because of the despicable nature of Weinstein’s actions, but because Delevingne perfectly captures all the thoughts and emotions that go through one’s head when made to feel unsafe or uncomfortable by a man with authority.
She also speaks to the culture of fear and silence that surrounds these instances and the psychological factors that keep victims somehow feeling like unwanted sexual advances are their fault.
Weinstein (and his assistant) then apparently pressured Delevingne to go up to his hotel room. Once there, the story gets significantly more scary.
The actress went on to describe all the shame, fear, and guilt she felt about coming forward. She even felt ashamed about ultimately getting the role in the movie, wondering if perhaps it was because of this incident. But she ended her statement by imploring girls and women to remember that “being harassed or abused or raped is never their fault.”
You can read the full statement here:
Delevingne’s description resonates all too well with anyone who has ever been put in an uncomfortable or compromising situation by a man who wielded some kind of power or authority.
However, her candor about such a difficult memory will inspire even more victims to come forward and will keep the dialogue about the intersection of power and sexual harassment going strong. This is a more than necessary cultural conversation, and it’s long overdue.