Entertainment

Molly Ringwald Shares Harrowing Sexual Assault Experience As A Teen

Ever since a group of women came forward with sexual assault accusations against famed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, more people have been opening up about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault while working in the entertainment industry.

Many celebrities, including Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie, James Van Der Beek, Reese Witherspoon, and Terry Crews, have taken to social media to bring awareness to the issue by sharing their own stories.

Now, joining the long list of victims is former child star Molly Ringwald.

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The Pretty in Pink actress penned an op-ed for The New Yorker this week, and in it she revealed that although she only shared a "tense, awkward moment" with Weinstein, there were plenty of other men in the same caliber as the disgraced producer that have taken advantage of her.

Titled "All the Other Harvey Weinsteins," the now 49-year-old wrote that she was sexually assaulted as a teenager.

“I have had plenty of Harveys of my own over the years, enough to feel a sickening shock of recognition,” the actress wrote.

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In the piece, Ringwald detailed some of her experiences about growing up on sets and having to dodge unwanted advances which often left her feeling "demeaned or exploited."

Ringwald admitted that while she was "lucky" to not have been "cajoled into a taxi," she still went through some harrowing experiences that have stuck with her since she was a young girl.

The Riverdale actress wrote that the first incident happened when she was just 13-years-old.

“When I was 13, a fifty-year-old crew member told me that he would teach me to dance, and then proceeded to push against me with an erection,” recalled Ringwald.

Unfortunately, that wasn't an isolated incident. The following year, she was once again assaulted while working on set by the director.

“When I was 14, a married film director stuck his tongue in my mouth on set,” wrote the former child star. Adding, “At a time when I was trying to figure out what it meant to become a sexually viable young woman, at every turn some older guy tried to help speed up the process."

She credits her protective parents for helping her, “I shudder to think of what would have happened had I not had them.”

Unfortunately, the harrasment and exploitation didn't end there. Ringwald continued to experience them throughout her career.

In another incident, which occurred when she was in her twenties, the director asked her to let another actor place a dog collar on her neck while she read lines during an audition.

“I don’t know if the collar ever made it on me, because that’s the closest I’ve had to an out-of-body experience,” she wrote. “I’d like to think that I just walked out, but, more than likely, there’s an old VHS tape, disintegrating in a drawer somewhere, of me trying to remember lines with a dog collar around my neck in front of a young man I once had a crush on. I sobbed in the parking lot and, when I got home and called my agent to tell him what happened, he laughed and said, “Well, I guess that’s one for the memoirs….”

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Sadly, these type of incidents have been normalized in Hollywood for so long that women, including Ringwald, don't speak up about it out of fear that no one would believe them.

“I never talked about these things publicly because, as a woman, it has always felt like I may as well have been talking about the weather. Stories like these have never been taken seriously," she admitted. "Women are shamed, told they are uptight, nasty, bitter, can’t take a joke, are too sensitive. And the men? Well, if they’re lucky, they might get elected President.”

The actress hopes that by sharing stories like this real change can actually happen because "It's time."

"Women have resounded their cri de coeur. Listen,” she concluded the piece.

You can read Ringwald's entire op-ed here.

Are you surprised by Ringwald's revelations?