'Dawson's Creek' star speaks out about alleged abuse
Actor James Van Der Beek has claimed that he was sexually assaulted by “older, powerful men” earlier in his career.
The Dawson’s Creek star made the revelation on Twitter while discussing the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Van Der Beek criticised “anyone judging the women who stayed silent” and “anyone brushing off harassment as boys being boys'”, adding: “What Weinstein is being accused of is criminal. What he’s admitted to is unacceptable – in any industry. I applaud everybody speaking out.”
Van Der Beek went on to say that he has had his “ass grabbed by older, powerful men” and “had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger”.
“I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness [and] inability to blow the whistle,” he said. “There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome.”
After speculation over who the unnamed individuals could be, Van Der Beek took to Twitter again to clarify: “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.”
“So apologies to any mentors [and] champions and wonderful friends I’ve made in this industry who may have been pulled into wrongful speculation,” he continued.
“I realise I left a door open by not initially naming, but please don’t impugn innocent people [without] cause. That’s not fair. Or right.”
His claims follow rape and sexual harassment allegations made against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The film producer has been accused of rape, sexual assault and harassment by numerous women, including famous stars such as Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Cara Delevingne.
Weinstein has denied any wrongdoing. A spokeswoman for Weinstein has said: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein… Mr Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual.”