Warning: the following article contains graphic descriptions of misogyny, sexual harassment, and assault.
Actress, model, and generally fearless human being Cara Delevingne is one of the latest voices in Hollywood to call out film executive Harvey Weinstein for sexually harassing her at a meeting sometime in the last 5 years. The disgraced producer was fired from his eponymous business, The Weinstein Company, this week following the publication of an article in The New York Times alleging that he has been paying off sexual harassment accusers for decades. Reports range from Weinstein making inappropriate sexual comments, to unwanted advances at parties, and assaulting actresses at 'meetings' in his hotel room. Weinstein's wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, has also announced that she is leaving her husband.
Dozens of actress including Angelina Jolie, Léa Seydoux, and Gwenyth Paltrow have come forward with their own stories of how Weinstein attacked and harassed them. On Wednesday, Cara Delevingne shared her experience on Instagram, outlining two encounters with Weinstein in which he abused his position to sexually harass Delevingne, and make homophobic comments:
In a phone call with Weinstein at the onset of her acting career, Delevingne says that she was told by the producer that if she "was gay or decided to be with a woman especially in public that [she would] never get the role of a straight woman or make it as an actress in Hollywood." A year later, Delevingne says that Weinstein harassed her in person and tried to initiate a threesome in his hotel room at what was supposed to be a meeting about an upcoming film.
In a subsequent post, Delevingne added:
"I want women and girls to know that being harassed or abused or raped is NEVER their fault [...] I am relieved to be able to share this [...] In every industry and especially in Hollywood, men abuse their power using fear and get away with it. This must stop. The more we talk about it, the less power we give them. I urge you all to talk and to the people who defend these men, you are part of the problem."
Delevingne has also been an outspoken critic of the abuse of models by fashion photographers, having witnessed harassment and exploitation during her time in the fashion industry.
Her comments also highlight the culture of victim blaming that so often surrounds stories of famous or powerful men who abuse and assault women; earlier in the week, retired DKNY founder Donna Karan came out in support of Weinstein, alleging that actresses may have been "asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality." Instead of holding Weinstein accountable for his own behaviour, Karan's comments wrongfully suggest that the onus is on female victims of assault to police the actions of others. Her words have been strongly condemned across the fashion industry and many have even called for a boycott of her label.
If you have experienced sexual violence, please see resources available to you through organisations such as RAINN (North America) and Rape Crisis (UK).