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5 Famous Men Who Have Come Forward With Their #MeToo Stories
One in six men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Here are five celebrities who are speaking out.
Sexual assault isn’t something that only happens to women.
One in six men has experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime, according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey's 2010-2012 state report — and reporting sexual violence as a man or boy can be additionally complicated because of social attitudes about stereotypical masculinity.
Terry Crews, himself a sexual assault victim, said it best during a brief interview with TMZ on June 26: “I prove that size doesn’t matter when it comes to sexual assault.”
Anyone can be sexually assaulted, regardless of their gender, age, or physical appearance.
From Terry Crews to James Van Der Beek, here are five famous men who have been brave enough to say “Me too.”
1. Terry Crews
Actor and former NFL player Terry Crews was one of the first men to lend his voice to the #MeToo movement when he began sharing his story in October. In a series of tweets, Crews revealed that “a high-level Hollywood executive” approached him at a party and “groped [his] privates.” Crews later named talent agent Adam Venit as the formerly anonymous Hollywood executive who allegedly harassed him at a party.
Crews has been celebrated — and criticized and mocked — for coming forward. Crews recently testified before a Senate committee in support of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights on June 26, detailing his sexual assault and alleging that "Expendables" producer Avi Lerner had threatened him because he'd spoken out. As Crews explained in his testimony, many men in the entertainment industry don’t come forward about sexual assault because they “get blacklisted, your career is in danger — after that, no one wants to work with you.”
2. James Van Der Beek
James Van Der Beek, known by many for his starring role on “Dawson’s Creek,” came forward with his own #MeToo story in October. In a series of tweets, the 41-year-old actor described the allegations against Harvey Weinstein - a key turning point in the #MeToo movement - as “criminal” and “unacceptable,” and revealed that he, too, had been sexually assaulted before.
“I’ve had my a** grabbed by older, powerful men. I’ve had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger,” he wrote. “I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle. There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome.”
In an interview with Variety, Van Der Beek said that he was inspired to come forward after seeing women who had shared their stories sustain criticism for not coming forward sooner. He explained, “My ire got up when I heard that, and so what I wanted to say was, ‘Allow people to process, everybody has their process, you can’t judge it.’”
3. Brendan Fraser
Brendan Fraser alleged during an interview with GQ in February that Philip Berk, a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — the organization that hosts the Golden Globes — sexually assaulted him in 2003.
“His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around,” Fraser, 49, told the magazine. The incident was among a number of factors that contributed to the decline of his career, Fraser also said.
While Berk claimed in his memoir to have pinched Fraser’s bottom as a joke, Fraser said that the encounter made him feel “overcome with panic and fear” and left him feeling “ill.” Berk called Fraser’s account a “total fabrication,” GQ reports. After Fraser asked HFPA for a written apology, Berk complied, but told GQ that his letter did not admit to any wrongdoing. HFPA launched an investigation into the matter shortly after Fraser’s interview was published, and though they later concluded that Berk had “inappropriately touched” Fraser, their statement claimed that Berk’s actions were intended to be taken as a joke rather than a sexual advance, according to GQ.
“I don't get the joke,” Fraser later told the publication.
4. Anthony Rapp
Anthony Rapp, known by many for his role in “Rent,” alleged in October that actor Kevin Spacey made sexual advances toward him when he was only 14 years old, initiating one of the swiftest #MeToo takedowns. He and Spacey, who was 26 at the time. were both acting in the same Broadway show when Spacey invited him over to his apartment for a party one night in 1986, Rapp told Buzzfeed News. Rapp said that near the end of the night, Spacey picked him up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him. Rapp was eventually able to extricate himself from the situation.
Addressing the incident on Twitter, Spacey said that he did not remember the encounter Rapp described.
“But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years,” he continued. In his statement, he also came out as a gay man.
Netflix announced in December that the sixth and final season of the Spacey-led political drama "House of Cards" would not include Spacey, CNET reports. Spacey was also axed from the thriller “All The Money In The World,” with director Ridley Scott recasting Christopher Plummer in Spacey's role as billionaire John Paul Getty and reshooting all of Spacey's scenes in a matter of weeks, according to Entertainment Weekly.
5. Alex Winter
Actor and filmmaker Alex Winter came forward in February with his own story. Winter, known by many for his role in the hit ‘80s film “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” revealed in an interview with BBC Radio 5 live that he’d been sexually abused “in the 1970s” by an unidentified man who is now dead. Working on films like “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” was therapeutic for him, he explained.
It was the #MeToo movement that served as a “light bulb” moment that led to him speaking out about the abuse he endured.
“I never thought in my lifetime that I would ever be ... sitting here talking to a BBC radio person about my childhood sexual abuse,” he said.
RAINN provides support and information for survivors of sexual violence.
[Photo: Terry Crews attends the 2018 BET Awards on June 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. By Leon Bennett/Getty Images]