As the #MeToo movement marches on, yet another entertainment superstar has come forward to share her experiences with sexual abuse. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Jennifer Lopez said she was harassed by a director at the very start of her career.
“I haven’t been abused in the way some women have,” Lopez said to Bazaar. “But have I been told by a director to take off my shirt and show my boobs? Yes, I have. But did I do it? No, I did not.”
But even though Lopez didn’t give in to the director, she struggled to speak out when she was just getting started, worrying that her career might not take off if she didn’t acquiescence a powerful man’s demands.
“When I did speak up, I was terrified,” she continued. “I remember my heart beating out of my chest, thinking, ‘What did I do? This man is hiring me!’ It was one of my first movies.”
Even early on, she knew that she wasn’t being treated fairly, which gave her the confidence to reject the director.
“In my mind, I knew the behavior wasn’t right,” Lopez told Bazaar. “It could have gone either way for me. But I think ultimately the Bronx in me was like, ‘Nah, we’re not having it.’”
Lopez is the latest in a string of celebrities that have come out about their own experiences with sexual harassment and assault. Both Kate Upton and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have recently opened up about sexual harassment in their careers, and even Monica Lewinsky talked about her relationship with President Bill Clinton and the power dynamics it entailed.
Meanwhile, Time’s Up has pushed out industry-specific initiatives and hundreds of lawsuits in the past few months to stamp out sexual harassment.