James Van Der Beek claims he was sexually assaulted by ‘older, powerful men’ as a young star

Jennifer ruby
Speaking out: James Van Der Beek claims he was sexually harassed: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for dick clark productions

James Van Der Beek has said that he was sexually assaulted by “older, powerful men”, when he was a rising star in Hollywood.

The former Dawson’s Creek star has spoken out in the wake of allegations against Harvey Weinstein to say that he has also been on the receiving end of unwanted sexual advances by industry executives.

In a series of tweets, the actor told fans that he understood the “shame” that comes with talking about being harassed, supporting the women who were scared of telling their story.

“What Weinstein is being accused of is criminal. What he’s admitted to is unacceptable - in any industry. I applaud everybody speaking out,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I’ve had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I’ve had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger.

“I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle. There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome.”

Van Der Beek went on to say that two of the men who had assaulted him had since been convicted for other offences, while one had died.

"FTR, the harassment I tweeted about was by people 99.9% of you don’t know. 2 were charged (by others) & punished. The other has since died," he wrote.

"So apologies to any mentors & champions and wonderful friends I’ve made in this industry who may have been pulled into wrongful speculation."

Actor Terry Crews has also revealed that he was the victim of sexual assault at the hands of a male Hollywood executive.

Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman at the 89th Academy Awards (REUTERS)

He said that the allegations made against Weinstein by a number of high-profile actresses had prompted him to speak out about his own ordeal.

He tweeted: “My wife n I were at a Hollywood function last year n a high level Hollywood executive came over 2 me and groped my privates. (2/cont.)

“Jumping back I said What are you doing?! My wife saw everything n we looked at him like he was crazy. He just grinned like a jerk. (3/cont.)

“I was going to kick his ass right then— but I thought twice about how the whole thing would appear. (4/cont.)”

Stars including Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lea Seydoux and Cara Delevingne have all claimed that they were sexual harassed by Weinstein at the beginning of their careers.