Actress and activist Ashley Judd is now speaking up about a horrible incident that happened to her many years ago. In an interview with Variety, Judd revealed that she was sexually harassed by a renowned mogul from another studio.
It happened during the filming of Kiss the Girls. The mogul she described as “industry’s most famous, admired-slash-reviled bosses” kept inviting her to his hotel room on the pretext of discussing movie roles in his projects.
— Mashable (@mashable) October 6, 2015
“It was so disgusting,” she said while recalling how he lured her. Judd admitted that although she is an empowered female, she kept mum because there was a huge gap in power and she chose to protect herself.
She said she knew people would ask, “Why didn’t you leave the room?” she added, “When I kept saying no to everything, there was a huge asymmetry of power and control in that room.”
She said it took her years before she could assess the incident and realize that there was really something wrong about it. She only realized that she was not alone when she got to talk to other actors and hear their experiences in the hands of that same mogul. The actress now realized how that influential person controlled the career of her peers through his connections in the media.
Judd recalled that at the time she was telling other actors that she was asked by the mogul to watch him take a shower, she was surprised that all the women sitting with her experienced the same thing, too.
The actress realized that what is holding women back to become great in their careers is “retaliation and ridicule.” Judd said she internalized the shame for so long but now, she encourages every woman to talk about it and accept this part of reality for everyone to be able to address sexual harassment.