Blake Lively has opened up about her own “terrifying” experience with sexual harassment after several Hollywood stars, including Cara Delevingne, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, came forward following allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Lively recalls how an unnamed make-up artist used to make her feel incredibly uncomfortable on set by “saying things inappropriately [and] insisting on putting my lipstick on with his finger”.
Things came to a head, the Gossip Girl star alleges, when she discovered that the man was filming her as she slept.
“I was sleeping one night on location and I woke up and he was filming me,” she says. “I was clothed, but it was a very voyeuristic, terrifying thing to do.'”
Lively reported the issue to the project’s producers but she said nothing was done.
“Finally,” she says, “after three months of complaining, they called me into my trailer and said, ‘We need to talk to you.' I thought, ‘Well finally, they’re going to do something about this man who I had to have touching me all day.’ And they said, ‘Your dog left a poop behind the toilet in your dressing room and our janitor had to pick it up. And this is very serious and we can't have this happen again.’”
Distressed by their inaction, Lively took the harassment issue to her lawyer. An investigation was conducted, and the make-up artist was finally removed from the project.
However, Lively points out, “our unit production manager wrote him a letter of recommendation because nobody wanted there to be bad blood.”
Earlier this week, Lively spoke out against the Weinstein allegations, saying: “That was never my experience with Harvey in any way whatsoever, and I think that if people heard these stories”
She went on to tell The Hollywood Reporter: “I do believe in humanity enough to think that this wouldn’t have just continued. I never heard any stories like this – I never heard anything specific – but it’s devastating to hear.”
Lively continued, “It’s important that women are furious right now. It’s important that there is an uprising. It’s important that we don’t stand for this and that we don’t focus on one or two or three or four stories, it’s important that we focus on humanity in general and say, ‘That is unacceptable.'”
Following a report by The New York Times, in which Ashley Judd went on record alleginginappropriate sexual behaviour by Weinstein in a hotel room, several women in the film industry have now publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault, including high-profile actors such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, while others have said they knew nothing of the alleged behaviour but condemned it.
Subsequent reports by The New Yorker saw multiple women accuse the producer of assault and harassment, ranging from accounts of sexual touching to rape. The report included audio from 2015, recorded in a police sting operation, in which Weinstein appears to admit to groping a model.
While Weinstein, who has since been sacked from his own company, denies any allegations of non-consensual sex or “acts of retaliation” against those who refused alleged advances, he has said in a statement via his spokesperson that he “has begun counselling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path.”
Earlier this week, his wife, designer Georgina Chapman, said she had separated from the producer.
Image: Rex Features