Harry Potter actress Jessie Cave is opening up about being a rape survivor.
Cave, 33, who played Ron Weasley's love interest Lavender Brown in the franchise, launched a new podcast with her sister Bebe, 23, titled We Can't Talk About That Right Now. In the first episode, Cave and her sister discuss their teenage years and the actress mentions that she was raped by her tennis coach.
“I think rape at 14 is pretty bad. By your tennis coach, who you trusted, a position of power,” she said. “I was fit and I was very able with a tennis ball. But I was still taken advantage of, and he was sent to jail.”
Cave initially posted about the podcast on her Instagram, previewing how the sisters talked about "lots of things including body image/ weight, pregnancy and grief. And our outfits and the rules of the podcast," but once the story of her rape began making news, the actress addressed how she hoped that wouldn't be the only focus of coverage of the podcast.
"As is natural when having a casual chat with a sibling, you can be talking about how much cake you ate one second and the next be talking about more serious things like teenage rape. Mine, in particular. And some people chose to focus in on this....." she wrote.
"The thing I need to say is.... I am not a victim and was not defined by what happened as a girl," she continued. "I am okay and I can talk about it, even laugh about it, carry it with me and use it. I have done so extensively and [publicly] in past writing, my show Sunrise for example, even talked about it on other people’s podcasts about mental health and love. I bring it up casually (without trigger warnings because I forget and don’t really understand them) because it’s just a part of me and has been for over half of my life. But our podcast was not about that!"
Throughout the 45-minute first episode of their podcast, Cave and her sister address a wide variety of topics -- from what they're wearing and why they chose to wear it, to various diets and weight fluctuation, to their acting careers -- all of which is discussed in a familiar and comfortable sisterly-like way, including a few playful critiques of each other here and there.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Jessie Cave played Lavendar Brown in Harry Potter
While Cave doesn't name her rapist when she addresses him, she says she's still encountering "consequences from that period" 18 years later, but emphasizes the fact that she is a survivor.
“The more time I have away from it, and this is going to sound awful, but I do feel quite lucky in so many ways that I had a rape that was actually … it didn’t destroy me," Cave said. “I think that’s something that people don’t talk about enough with sexual abuse and trauma. There are some people that are okay after, there are some people that do use it and find a way of living with it and definitely are not defined by it.”
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.