This afternoon Portia de Rossi shared her disturbing account of being sexually harassed by Steven Seagal, joining a growing group of women who have come forward with allegations against the actor.
"My final audition for a Steven Segal (sic) movie took place in his office. He told me how important it was to have chemistry off-screen as he sat me down and unzipped his leather pants," de Rossi wrote on Twitter. "I ran out and called my agent. Unfazed, she replied, 'well, I didn’t know if he was your type.'"
As if Seagal's alleged actions aren't upsetting enough, De Rossi's account exhibits another disturbing pattern of these incidents being brushed off by people who should care. It's become clear that Harvey Weinstein's behavior was "an open secret" in Hollywood — but, based on the allegations against other powerful men in the industry, it seems like there were more than a few open secrets. Furthermore, De Rossi's account is an upsetting description of women failing to stick up for other women and minimizing their experiences, which is, sadly, fairly common.
Inside Edition correspondent Lisa Guerrero and actress Julianna Margulies have also alleged that Seagal sexually harassed them. Furthermore, a disturbing image of Seagal seemingly groping a 16-year-old Katherine Heigl's breast is making the rounds.
As sexual misconduct allegations against many powerful men in Hollywood and other industries rapidly emerge, it's become difficult to keep track of them all — but it's important to pay attention to each and every woman and man's story. There's been a deafening silence for years and this is an important opportunity to give victims a voice. By doing so, we can send a message to victims everywhere that their stories matter and they can receive support when they're ready to speak up.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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