The model and actress is the latest celebrity to accuse the producer of sexual harassment
Abuse of power comes as no surprise. If there’s one line that may well have been ringing in your ears this week after the New York Times’ Harvey Weinstein exposé, that Jenny Holzer-ism may well, sadly, be it. As the days go by, more and more high profile women have spoken out about harassment and intimidation they say they suffered at the hands of the disgraced Hollywood producer, in information that implies he has spent decades exploiting his position of power to manipulate women into distressing and humiliating sexual scenarios.
Following on from names including Rose McGowan, Angelina Jolie, and Gweneth Paltrow, the latest celebrity to come forward is model, singer, and actress Cara Delevingne. In a letter posted on her Instagram, she details an incident a number of years ago in which she says Weinstein called her to ask invasive questions about her sexuality and assure her that as a woman who publicly dated other women, she would never get the part of a straight woman or make it in Hollywood.
Then, at a meeting in a hotel about a potential role, she says he bragged about his sexual conquests and ability to make women’s careers before inviting her to his room. Disturbingly, Delevingne then implicates a female assistant in her encounter – this woman encouraged her to follow him, and in the room was a further woman. Weinstein, she writes, encouraged her and Delevingne to kiss, and the actress tried her best to escape the situation – unfortunately not without the producer attempting to kiss her, too.
Delevingne’s words also get at a devastating reality surrounding sexual assault: that women often remain silent and blame themselves. “I still got the part for the film and always thought that he gave it to me because of what happened,” she said. “Since then I felt awful that I did the movie. I felt like I didn’t deserve the part. I was so hesitant about speaking out...I didn’t want to hurt his family. I felt guilty as if I did something wrong.” So many women know these feelings all too well – the fear of speaking out, that somehow in these terrible things that happen to us, we are guilty of something, or that we encouraged something.
As Delevingne writes, sexual violence, control, and intimidation is not, and never has been a victim’s fault. Abusers have been getting away with this for far too long, but things, it seems, are changing. “The more we talk about it, the less power we give (abusers),” she says. “I urge you all to talk and to the people who defend these men, you are part of the problem.”
We applaud Delevingne’s bravery, that of all the other women who have detailed their experiences, and of victims of sexual harassment and assault across the world.
Read her full statements below: