"Fresh Off the Boat" producer, creator and writer Eddie Huang has penned his own story about what he says was a sexual assault that happened two decades ago, in an essay for New York Magazine's The Cut.
As the essay goes on, Huang had powerful words for other victims and said he'd been inspired by those who have recently spoken out.
"It happened on a Baptist church ski trip; I was 14," the now 35-year-old writes in a piece titled "Why I Denied My Sexual Assault for 20 Years."
After a day on the slopes during the trip, Huang said he and his roommate planned to meet friends later. But they were interrupted by one of the trip's chaperones, who unexpectedly knocked on their hotel room door that day, he said.
"I get knots in my stomach and blood rushes to my brain when I begin to write this," Huang admits. "I think it’s anger, but I’m not sure. More than anything, I just feel powerless to the memory."
After asking to use the boys' shower, Huang wrote that the man came out naked, sat on the foot of his bed and "that’s when panic set in."
"I felt trapped," he continued. "I looked toward my roommate who seemed just as flustered, but we weren’t sure what was happening."
Huang says the unnamed man sat there reading the bible, fully aroused.
"I’d never felt that humiliated in my life, trapped in a bed with no way out. I thought about fighting him, but he was a full-grown man three times our size. I thought about picking up the phone and calling the police, but stopped myself," he writes, adding that he didn't think anyone would believe them. "Even if I told somebody, there was nothing they could give back to make me whole again."
The man left 15 minutes later and the boys decided never to tell anyone, until last year, he said.
Following an incident at a book signing in California, Huang's friend was having a panic attack and asked, "Have you ever felt this before?"
That's when Huang said he told him about his 21-year-old secret, adding, "somehow I felt better."
"For 21 years, I hung onto that feeling of being hijacked and humiliated. It’s come back at different times in various forms, but that night in Oakland, I let it go," he said. "Over the last year, I told four other people close to me. Each of them had their own story and that’s when I realized how deep this rabbit hole goes."
He was struck by the Harvey Weinstein allegations that began early last month with dozens of women sharing their alleged stories of sexual harassment and abuse.
"I saw the alert on my phone for a New York Times article about Harvey Weinstein and his assaults on women," Huang adds. "I read it over and over and over angry for the victims and angry that we ever fell for Weinstein and Miramax ... A Band-Aid had been ripped off and a memory triggered that I had deliberately locked away. All of the emotions came rushing back, but again I hung onto my safe place on the sidelines. 'I’m not a victim,' I said to myself. 'This isn’t me.'"
The now disgraced producer has denied "any allegations of nonconsensual sex" via his spokeswoman, but Weinstein was terminated by his company and he later resigned from its board; he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, among other organizations, and his wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, announced last month that she was leaving him.
Then the Kevin Spacey allegations came, in which Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of trying to seduce him when he was 14, while attending a party back in 1986. Spacey posted a statement on Twitter saying he is "beyond horrified" by the story, but doesn't remember the encounter. He went on to say he was examining himself and now chooses "to [openly] live as a gay man."
"I read it over and over stopping each time at the age '14,'" Huang writes about Rapp's interview. "I know 14 ... I was inspired by Anthony Rapp. He shared something with us all that I never could and it made me feel OKAY."
Huang finished his essay with a message to all victims of assault or harassment, letting them know they are never alone.
"I’m not just a kid some pedophile read Psalms to. And if someone sexually assaulted you, it isn’t who you are either," he wrote. "When I look back, nothing was actually taken. I was hijacked, but I fought my way back and arrived as the man I’m supposed to be."