The last several weeks have seen many women in Hollywood come forward with accounts of sexual misconduct at the hands of powerful men. Now, actress Kristina Cohen says Ed Westwick raped her, and her story is heartbreaking.
In a post on her Facebook page, Cohen, who has appeared in shows like Californication and The Middle, revealed that the Gossip Girl actor sexually assaulted her in his home three years ago. Cohen says that the recent outpouring of stories about sexual abuse in Hollywood have “been both triggering and emotionally exhausting” for her, but that by coming forward with her story, she hopes to “help others to know that they are not alone, that they are not to blame, and it is not their fault.”
Cohen said that she was “briefly” dating a producer at the time, who brought her to Westwick’s home for dinner one evening. She said she soon felt uncomfortable when Westwick suggested “we should all fuck,” but her boyfriend convinced her to stay. After making it clear she was tired, Westwick suggested she take a nap in his guest room.
When she woke up, Westwick was raping her.
A post shared by Kristina Cohen (@kristinamariecohen) on Nov 6, 2017 at 4:21pm PST
Cohen wrote, “I was paralyzed, terrified. I couldn’t speak, I could no longer move. He held me down and raped me. It was a nightmare, and the days following weren’t any better.”
She revealed that her then-boyfriend told her she was an “active participant” in the assault, and that she shouldn’t speak out about what happened because Westwick would have “people come after her” and that she “didn’t want to be ‘that girl.'”
She said, “For the longest time, I believed him. I didn’t want to be ‘that girl.’ I now realize the ways in which these men in power prey on women, and how this tactic is used so frequently in our industry, and surely, in many others.”
A post shared by Kristina Cohen (@kristinamariecohen) on Sep 21, 2017 at 12:59pm PDT
Cohen added, “I’m sickened to see men like Ed respected in such a public way. Interviewed by prestigious platforms such as the Oxford Union Society at Oxford University, where he was honored as one of their ‘People who Shape our World.’ How does this end? Men like Ed using fame and power to rape and intimidate but then continue through the world collecting accolades.”
“I hope my coming forward will help others to know that they are not alone, that they are not to blame, and it is not their fault. Just as the other women and men coming forward have helped me to realize the same. I hope that my stories and the stories of others help to reset and realign the toxic environments and power imbalances that have created these monsters.”
Westwick has not commented on the allegations, but he has disabled comments on his most recent Instagram posts. We are so sorry that this happened to Cohen, but applaud her for the immense bravery it took to share her story. We’re confident it will help other victims in their journey.