In a recent interview with Variety, Ashley Judd revealed she was sexually harassed by a film studio mogul in 1997.
Judd told the magazine that the incident happened while she was filming "Kiss the Girls.” She explained the man who harassed her was “one of our industry’s most famous, admired-slash-reviled bosses.”
She went on to describe what happened, saying, “He was very stealth and expert about it. He groomed me, which is a technical term -- 'Oh, come meet at the hotel for something to eat.' Fine, I show up. 'Oh, he’s actually in his room.' I’m like, 'Are you kidding me? I just worked all night. I’m just going to order cereal.' It went on in these stages.”
Eventually, after a process of what Judd considered “bargaining,” the man asked her to watch him take a shower, to which she responded, “When I win an Academy Award in one of your movies.” Judd later found out that the same man had said and done the same things to a group of other women.
She described the entire situation as “disgusting,” saying that even though she considered herself an empowered feminist, she “did not recognize at the time what was happening to me. It took years before I could evaluate the incident and realize there was something incredibly wrong and illegal about it.”
Years later, the actress encountered the film executive at the premiere of her movie "Double Jeopardy."
"I was no longer that naïve ingénue who couldn’t identify what was happening as it was happening," Judd said. "I was getting ready to nail him on it, and he said, 'I think I’ll let you out of that deal we made.' He knew I would come into my power."
Judd has long been an advocate for women's rights and has been open about other instances of sexual abuse she's faced in the past. The 47-year-old shared her personal stories, in a sense, giving a voice to those who aren't able to speak up.
But she knows that the issue of sexual abuse isn’t going to solve itself.
“We’re all part of the problem, but we’re all part of the solution,” she explained. “Healing comes in a lot of different ways. Some things require intensive, contained work. Some things could be resolved with a good run or punching bag or an interaction with the perpetrator, in which one is able to take one’s power back.”
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