'Riverdale' Star Opens Up About Own Experience With Sexual Harassment
Lili Reinhart took to her personal Tumblr page to write about being a young actress who was allegedly taken advantage of by an older man on set.
Ever since the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations emerged last week, women and men have opened up about their own experiences of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.
Riverdale star Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty in the CW Archie Comics take, took to her personal Tumblr page this week to write about her own experience as a young actress being taken advantage of, Reinhart says, by an older man on set. "In light of the Harvey Weinstein allegations... I feel the need to share a story of my own personal experience where a man in a position of power over me, used that said power to try and take advantage of me," she wrote.
Reinhart explained that when she was a teenager on set, she began to develop feelings for a co-worker. She explained that there was a significant age gap between the two, but “I thought of myself as mature so it didn’t seem like a big deal.”
While Reinhart wrote that she was not comfortable sharing specific details, she said that her alleged harasser, whom she didn't name, “tried to force himself on me when we were on a date.” After stating that she wasn’t interested in his advances, Reinhart “physically walked away from the situation before it could get any worse.” The actress explained that the moment felt like “a scene out of a horror movie.”
Reinhart explained that she had no way of getting home, so she got in her alleged harasser's car thinking he would take her to where she was staying. “As we were driving, I realized he was trying to take me back to his apartment,” she recounted. “And I knew if I made it there, something bad was going to happen to me.”
Reinhart ultimately convinced him to take her home. She tried to talk to him about the incident on set the following day, but he “proceeded to tell me that it was my fault for leading him on.” A hostile environment was then created between the two as he continued to blame her for being a tease.
“I was miserable. And I felt that I needed to keep my mouth shut about the entire situation because 1. I figured no one would believe me and 2. he played a much bigger role in this project than me … he had more power,” she wrote. Reinhart explained that she didn’t report the incident because she didn’t want to be “looked at as dramatic and a diva.”
The 21-year-old actress then addressed the current controversy around the Weinstein allegations in the Tumblr post. She said that she understands why the women felt “that they’d rather keep quiet at the time than start a discussion that could lead to them being called a liar or overly dramatic.”
Reinhart concluded her note by addressing the women who've spoken out against Weinstein: “I stand with them. I believe them. I believe in standing up for yourself as a woman and coming forward about sexual harassment.” She hopes that by sharing her own sexual harassment experience, “we can take action to fight against it.”