Actress Kristina Cohen shared her story of Westwick raping her
On Monday, actress Kristina Cohen joined the chorus of voices of men and women in Hollywood who are coming forward with their stories of assault and abuse. In a post on her Facebook page, Cohen accused actor Ed Westwick, best known for his role as Chuck Bass on the show Gossip Girl, of raping her in 2014.
On Monday, Cohen shared the story of how, three years ago, Westwick allegedly held her down and raped her when she and a man she was dating, who was a friend of Westwick’s, were visiting his home.
According to Cohen, when the pair arrived at Westwick’s home, he suggested that the three of them have sex. She was not interested and wanted to leave, but Westwick asked them to stay for dinner and her date “didn’t want to make Ed feel awkward by leaving.” While her date tried to “smooth things over” with Westwick, a tired Cohen — whose mother was dying of cancer at the time — went to a guest bedroom and fell asleep.
She says that she allegedly woke up with Westwick’s fingers inside of her.
“I told him to stop, but he was strong. I fought him off as hard as I could but he grabbed my face in his hands, shaking me, telling me he wanted to fuck me. I was paralyzed, terrified. I couldn’t speak, I could no longer move. He held me down and raped me,” she wrote.
Later, Cohen told the man she was dating what happened. He blamed her for the alleged assault and insisted she “was an active participant.” He also told her that if she reported it, her career would be on the line, a threat we’ve seen used over and over again in cases like these. As Cohen puts it in her post, “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.”
In the years since the alleged assault, Cohen, who acts under the name Kristina Kruz, has had parts in various short films and a leading role in the TV series Ladies Like Us. Westwick, meanwhile, was named one of the “People Who Shape This World” by Oxford University two years ago and currently stars in the BBC drama, White Gold.
Westwick took to Twitter this morning and denied the assault:
— Ed Westwick (@EdWestwick) November 7, 2017
We have nothing but respect for the courage of survivors like Cohen, who are using this time to speak out, name names, and bring their alleged abusers to account. Men like these use their power and reputations to get away with victimizing others, but now, thanks to the Harvey Weinstein exposé, we’re living in a critical moment where truths are being told and these men are being punished (professionally, though not yet legally) for their actions. Hopefully, as people like Cohen continue to share their stories, more survivors will speak out.
Says Cohen: “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.”
Drag. Them. All.