On November 6, actress Kristina Cohen penned a Facebook post claiming Gossip Girl actor Ed Westwick raped her three years ago. Cohen said she met Westwick when she and her then-boyfriend, a producer friend of the actor's, visited him at his home.
According to Cohen, Westwick made her uncomfortable when he suggested "we should all f***." She said she was tired and wanted to go, but her boyfriend suggested that, to avoid offending Westwick by leaving, she lie down in a spare bedroom for a nap. Cohen claims she awoke to find Westwick holding her down, forcing himself upon her.
Here is her account of what happened:
*Warning: contains graphic content which may trigger some readers*
In the post, Cohen wrote:
So I went and laid down in the guest room where I eventually fell asleep, I was woken up abruptly by Ed on top of me, his fingers entering my body. 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 f*** me. I was paralyzed, terrified. I couldn’t speak, I could no longer move. He held me down and raped me.
Cohen has had small roles in television shows like Californication and The Middle. Westwick found fame on the CW drama Gossip Girl as Blair's on-again/off-again beau Chuck Bass. He now stars in White Gold on BBC Two. Though Cohen says that her boyfriend blamed her for the assault at the time and warned her to stay silent, the wave of women coming forward to out sexual abusers inspired her to tell her story.
People on Twitter are divided, to say the least:
The Los Angeles Police Department is now investigating Cohen's claims.
Westwick has denied every aspect of Cohen's story, saying:
I do not know this woman. I have never forced myself in any manner, on any woman. I certainly have never committed rape.
With her story, Cohen hopes to remind sexual assault victims that they have done nothing wrong, and to shift the public perception of sexual predators.
To finish her post, Cohen wrote:
I’m sickened to see men like Ed respected in such a public way. Interviewed by prestigious platforms such as the Oxford Union Society at Oxford University, where he was honored as one of their ‘People who Shape our World,’” Cohen wrote. “How does this end? Men like Ed using fame and power to rape and intimidate but then continue through the world collecting accolades.
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.
Cohen later identified her ex-boyfriend as Australian film producer Kaine Harling.
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