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How to Get Away With Murder star Karla Souza revealed Tuesday that she was raped by a director early in her career.
In an interview with CNN en Espanol, the Mexican actress said that she was attacked by a director, whose name she did not disclose, during a one-month shoot in Mexico. Souza said the prelude to the assault began when the director began to “inappropriately” show up at her hotel room at 2 a.m. to go over scenes. During the production, she was staying at a hotel where only she and the director had rooms. The rest of the cast stayed in a different hotel.
“He knocked at my door saying he wanted to go over some scenes and I thought it’s 2 a.m., it’s not appropriate and it’s something that shouldn’t be happening,” she said.
One night, Souza recounted, she decided not to open the door for him and paid a heavy price for it. “The next day he decided not to shoot my scene and then he suddenly started to humiliate me in front of the others on the set. This was the psychological control that he held over me.”
After a month of dealing with the director’s “total abuse of power,” Souza said she finally gave in. “I ended up giving in to him; [to let him] kiss me; to touch me in ways I did not want him to touch me; and in one of those instances, he attacked me violently and, yes, he raped me,” the actress said while wiping away tears.
Souza didn’t speak out at the time because she feared she would jeopardize her fledgling career.
As the #MeToo movement spreads throughout Hollywood, more women in film industries outside of the U.S. are coming forward. On the same show, Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman (Spectre) said that when she was 22 and just launching her career, a film producer and his wife pulled her into a dark room at a party and fondled her without her consent.
“I got angry and reacted by slapping each one of them,” the actress said.
Several years later, Sigman said that she saw the producer at a film festival and he continued to harass her with lewd comments and advances. She told CNN journalist Carmen Aristegui that she wasn’t sure if naming the aggressor would bring any significant consequences.
“The truth is I do not know if the story changes,” Sigman is quoted as saying on website Aristegui Noticias. “If I considered that I would have to do it, I would do it in a legal and official way.”
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