James Van Der Beek says he was sexually harassed by ‘older, powerful men’
Dawson’s Creek alum James Van Der Beek is speaking out about his experiences as a young actor in Hollywood, adding his support to the growing list of women coming out as victims of sexual harassment.
In a series of tweets Thursday, Van Der Beek says he was harassed as a young man. His comments came after he criticized those who judged the women who have alleged that they were sexually assaulted or harassed by Harvey Weinstein.
“For anyone judging the woman who stayed silent, read this for perspective. Also for anyone brushing off harassment as “boys being boys,” he tweeted.
“What Weinstein is being accused of is criminal. What he’s admitted to is unacceptable — in any industry. I applaud everybody speaking out,” Van Der Beek wrote.
“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 revealed.
“I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle. There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome,” the actor wrote.
WATCH BELOW: The latest on Harvey Weinstein
The What Would Diplo Do? star is not the first male Hollywood actor to reveal he was the target of sexual harassment.
On Tuesday, actor Terry Crews said a “high-level Hollywood executive” groped him.
“This whole thing with Harvey Weinstein is giving me PTSD. Why? Because this kind of thing happened to ME,” Crews tweeted Tuesday, revealing his ordeal in a series of further posts.
The White Chicks actor said the incident happened at a “Hollywood function” in 2016 and claimed the executive came over to him “and groped his privates.”
The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star said he considered kicking the person’s ass but “I WOULD HAVE BEEN IN JAIL. So we left.”
He said he received an apology the next day but the perpetrator never explained his actions.
Crews and Van Der Beek’s accounts follow the sexual harassment and abuse scandal that has seen actresses such as Ashley Judd, Cara Delevigne, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow speak out against Weinstein’s alleged behaviour.
Last Thursday, the New York Times reported that Weinstein had reached settlements with at least eight different women.
On Tuesday, the New Yorker published a second piece in which another 13 women said they had been abused by the Hollywood mogul.
The New Yorker exposé detailed allegations not just of sexual harassment but of three incidents of alleged rape. Actor Asia Argento and a former aspiring actor named Lucia Evans went on the record to allege Weinstein forced himself on them sexually. A third woman spoke anonymously.
Lawyers for Weinstein did not immediately return messages. The New Yorker quoted Weinstein representative Sallie Hofmeister responding that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office released a statement on Tuesday afternoon explaining why no charges were laid against Weinstein at the time of the recording.
“While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law, which requires prosecutors to establish criminal intent,” said Karen Friedman Agnifilo, the chief assistant district attorney. “Subsequent investigative steps undertaken in order to establish intent were not successful.”
—With files from Kevin Nielsen
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.Follow @KatieScottNews
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