James Van Der Beek shares his own sexual harassment story in support of women

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Susan Devaney
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James Van Der Beek has shared his own sexual harassment story in support of all the women who’ve came forward throughout the ongoing Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations.

Several Hollywood stars, including Cara DelevingneGwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have come forward following allegations of sexual misconduct against the producer.  

Taking to Twitter, the Dawson’s Creek star detailed his own experience, by saying:

“For anyone judging the women who stayed silent, read this for perspective. Also for anyone brushing off harassment as ‘boys being boys’,” he wrote, including a link to an article from The Cut discussing why victims of assault often don’t speak out.

“What Weinstein is being accused of is criminal. What he’s admitted to is unacceptable – in any industry. I applaud everybody speaking out.

“I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness and inability to blow the whistle. There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome.

“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,” Van Der Beek continued, without naming the perpetrators.

Social media users have since speculated as to whom he was referring to – with Van Der Beek replying: “The harassment I tweeted about was by people 99.9% of you don’t know.

“Two were charged (by others) and punished. The other has since died.”

He contined: “So apologies to any mentors and champions and wonderful friends I’ve made in this industry who may have been pulled into wrongful speculation.

“I realise I left a door open by not initially naming, but please don’t impugn innocent people without cause. That’s not fair. Or right.”

Weinstein has been accused of sexual abuse and harassment by several women since The New York Times broke the story last week.

Subsequent reports by The New Yorker saw multiple women accuse the producer of assault and harassment, ranging from accounts of sexual touching to rape, while other high-profile actors and celebrities recalled experiences of their own.

Actor and former NFL star Terry Crews also took to Twitter earlier this week to share his own story as he “understands and empathises with those who have remained silent.” Recalling an alleged incident in which an unnamed male executive groped his genitals in front of his wife, Crews said he didn’t pursue a report because he feared being ostracized.

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.

Images: Rex Features