In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein rape accusations that have come to light, more and more people are coming together to share their #MeToo stories … and to name names and try to break the culture of silence that allows sexual predators to operate.
Earlier this week, Gossip Girl actor Ed Westwick was accused of rape by an actress.
Actress Kristina Cohen came forward and named Ed Westwick, accusing him of having raped her in 2014.
At the time, Kristina was dating a producer who was friends with Ed Westwick.
When they joined him for dinner, she felt uncomfortable when Westwick allegedly suggested that they all have sex.
(It’s unclear if he was joking at that time, though sexual predators have been known to use "humor" to get a feel for someone, always with the plausible deniability of "hey, just kidding!" if they get called out on it)
Kristina Cohen then describes how she said that she was tired and wanted to leave, but her producer friend wanted to stay for another 20 minutes to be polite, so Ed Westwick suggested that she take a nap in the guest room.
Kristina recounts how she woke up with Westwick’s fingers inside of her.
She accuses Westwick of holding her down with his weight, grabbing her face and shaking her head, and raping her.
She says that the producer whom she was dating blamed her and also warned her against speaking out, both shaming and silencing her.
If you find that story as disturbing as we do, you should be happy to know that police are investigating Ed Westwick for rape.
Aurelie Wynn has found the courage to share her #MeToo story … and you’ll find her story familiar and disturbing.
"In July 2014, I went through a very similar ordeal with Ed Westwick, I was ubered by Ed to the Glendower Estates where he was renting following an invite from a girl friend of mine who was dating his roommate a cast member on Glee."
The Glee actor involvement? That’s important. We’ll get to that.
"We all hung out until 5am, sun was starting to rise since it was summer so we all decided to get a few hours of shut eye since we all had events and things to do the next day and there are plenty of bedrooms."
This is sounding all too familiar.
Now, Aurelie skips some details here. The specifics of a sexual assault can be very difficult to write down, especially on social media.
We imagine that she intends for us to read between the lines, based upon Kristina Cohen’s account and common sense. If she takes this to police, she’ll have to fill in the blanks.
"And like Kristina, I said no and he pushed me face down and was powerless under his weight. I was wearing a one piece bathing suit that he ripped, I was in complete shock, I am also very tiny."
One, this is awful and horrifying.
Two, we can confirm that Aurelie is tiny, just based upon her social media photos. She takes selfies with short people and still looks short beside them. She’s very petite.
"When it was over I got my cellphone and found that the girl that had invited me had left or got kicked out. I had terrible service in the estate without access to the wifi and had to get another friend to get me an Uber out of there while Ed was passed out."
Awful and frightening.
Aurelie Wynn continues.
"I told the guy I was seeing that I got raped, Mark Salling, and when he found out by who he pretended not to know him, then blamed me for it and broke it off with me."
A little over a month ago, Glee actor Mark Salling plead guilty to child porn charges. He’s gross, even beyond the victim-blaming that Aurelie describes.
It’s worth noting that, though the case fell through, Mark Salling was also accused of rape. (That case was thrown out because of how much time had passed — don’t even get us started on that)
Aurelie continues to describe the bitter aftermath:
"My other friends and people around me told me it was best not to say anything, to not be ‘that girl’ and that no one would believe me and think I was just out trying to get my 10 seconds of fame."
That closely mirrors what Kristina has described after her own alleged rape.
Sadly, too many people — not just those in the entertainment business — would prefer to not know or not believe that evil walks among us, ruining lives and still being adored by fans and friends.
"And so I kept quiet and soon got to see and hear how prevalent sexual assault and intimidation goes on in this industry…to the point where I questioned how much I really wanted to be in entertainment as I didn’t see it getting better."
She reached her conclusion.
"I’ve since moved on from acting and wanted just to reenforce Kristin Cohen’s claim[s] as I believe them to be true."
It is so sad that she got chased out of pursuing her dream by such a nightmarish experience.
But it’s astoundingly brave for her to speak up now and lend her voice to Kristian Cohen’s accusation.
"I believe you Kristina Cohen and thank you for speaking up so eloquently and really encompassing what young female actresses have to go through at the hands of men like Ed Westwick."
She credits Kristina and her story for encouraging her to share her own.
"Without you I would not have had the strength to speak up publicly about my ordeal. #metoo"
There are too many #MeToo stories, and yet we know that millions of women have yet to share theirs.
We need to make this world a better, safer place.