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As women in the entertainment industry continue to come forward and speak openly about sexual assault in the wake of the #MeToo movement, actress Tiffany Haddish recently revealed she was raped as a teenager by a police cadet.
The cadet, whose identity she did not share, sexually assaulted Haddish when she was 17 years old, the actress recounted in an interview with Glamour published Tuesday. She opened up about the traumatizing experience, explaining that it had a lasting effect on her, so much so that she had to seek professional help.
“That whole experience put me in such a messed-up place for a long time, and I ended up going to counseling,” she said. Haddish went on to tell the interviewer that, although she reported the incident at the time, she doesn’t know what justice would look like.
“Me just yelling out people’s names with no thought behind it is pointless. I need a plan. I could be a voice, but what’s a voice going to do — just keep talking? Or is there action behind it?”
The “Girls Trip” actress went on to explain that she’s now defensive when it comes to men and acts aggressively as a defense mechanism.
“I notice that men are afraid of women that are aggressive. So to protect myself I become semi-aggressive,” she said. “You hear about, ‘Tiffany always hitting on somebody,’ but that’s to keep them from hitting on me.”
This isn't the first time Haddish has talked openly about such experiences. Last year, Haddish opened up about being raped the night of a high school dance during an episode of the podcast “The Champs.” She was raped after the man, whom she’d befriended previously at a family member’s baseball game, offered to give her a ride home, but took her to his house instead, where he restrained and raped her. Haddish, in the podcast interview, recalled seeing handcuffs and a police uniform at his home; the man confirmed he was a cadet.
"Next thing I know, I've got one arm up in the handcuff, and he's got me pinned down," said Haddish of the assault. It isn't clear, however, if this is the same assault she mentioned in her interview with Glamour.
Haddish said that she's also dealt with similar male pressure in her show business career.
She explained to Glamour, “I’ve had experiences where directors or producers are like, ‘You want this job?’”
“I might get real bossy and say, ‘First off, don’t nobody want to see your little d*ck!’” she continued. “I get loud, all that.”
[Photo: Host Tiffany Haddish attends the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. By Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic, via Getty Images]