Evan Rachel Wood is opening up about why she has not yet named the people who she says raped her — and standing up for actresses who have come forward with sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
The Emmy nominee, 30, recorded a revealing YouTube video in which she gave insight about why harassment and assault victims may sometimes wait years to accuse their abusers.
“In many cases, when women come forth with a story about sexual assault or sexual harassment people are very quick to try to discredit them or knock them down, or look for any sign of foul play or any reason not to believe them,” Wood says in the nearly 15-minute video.
“People are wondering why more women didn’t come forward sooner or why they come out in numbers — it’s because it’s safer.”
Last year, the Westworld star said that she was sexually assaulted twice.
“Yes,” she said at the time. “I’ve been raped. By a significant other while we were together. And on a separate occasion, by the owner of a bar.”
Although she has not named her attackers, the actress said in the video that she has been abused by “very powerful, very rich, very entitled, very narcissistic white men.”
“I have not named my abusers,” Wood says. “Not because I don’t plan on saying these people’s names eventually, but because to start that process is an emotionally draining, financially draining, really everything draining thing to do and to go through, and I want to do it when I’m ready.”
She adds: “To go after the person that assaulted you takes quite a toll. It is a terrifying thing to have to go through. Mainly because you’re at risk of not being believed, your career being hurt, you being drained of your finances. Because it costs a lot of money to file a lawsuit and to go to court with somebody. Especially if all you have is your word against theirs.”
Wood’s statements come as Weinstein, 65, finds himself in the midst of an ongoing sexual harassment and abuse scandal with actresses including Cara Delevingne, Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie speaking out against Weinstein’s alleged behavior.
In a bombshell New York Times report last week, eight women accused him of acting inappropriately. The paper also reported that Weinstein reached private settlements with eight women, including actress Rose McGowan. In accounts in the New York Times, the New Yorker and elsewhere, more than 20 women have spoken out against the producer, with allegations including rape, forced oral sex, groping and harassment.
In response to the lengthy allegations made against Weinstein, a spokesperson for the movie mogul said, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”