Karla Souza claims that she was sexually assaulted by a director in her early career. The How to Get Away With Murder actress, 32, came forward with her allegations while speaking to CNN en Español on Tuesday, February 20.
Souza alleged that the incident took place in her hotel room while she was filming on location in her native Mexico. According to the ABC star, she had been separated from her costars and was staying in a different hotel with the director, whom she refused to name.
“He knocked on my door saying he wanted to go over some scenes and I thought, ‘It’s 2 a.m., it’s not appropriate and it’s something that shouldn’t be happening,’” she recalled, noting that her refusal to let the director in served as a detriment to her career. “He decided not to shoot my scene … He suddenly started to humiliate me in front of the others on set. This was the psychological control that he held over me.”
The Everybody Loves Somebody actresses added that, after suffering through the director’s “total abuse of power” for one month, she felt compelled to “give in” to his advances.
“I ended up yielding to him to kiss me, to touch me in ways I did not want him to touch me,” she claimed while wiping away tears. “In one of those instances, he violently assaulted me and yes, he raped me.”
Souza’s claims come at a distinct time in the entertainment industry. Many men and women have recently spoken out about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault ever since The New York Times published an exposé in October 2017, detailing numerous allegations of abuse against Harvey Weinstein, which reportedly spanned over several decades.
The disgraced film exec, 65, has continued to deny all claims made against him.
Us Weekly has reached out to Souza’s rep for comment.
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