Justin Baldoni, who plays Rafael on The CW's Jane The Virgin, said he was sexually harassed by a Hollywood producer when he was 21 years old.
He jumped into a hot tub, where he saw an older man who was in the nude. The man said he was a producer and told him about how he'd worked with George Clooney, Don Cheadle and other celebrities.
"He slowly started to try to get me to take off my pants because I had my bathing suit on and he was naked," recalled Baldoni, who did not reveal the producer's name.
"And I remember the way he did it, using his power and what he does and who he knows as a way to make me feel less than, like I wasn’t going to be as successful as the other guys who’d been in the same hot tub with him, naked," the Madam Secretary actor continued. "I just remember that feeling and having a moment of saying, 'Well, should I do that? And where does that lead?'… I remember a split second [of thought], and then going, 'What? No,' and just leaving."
Baldoni said he couldn't imagine how a woman in his position would have reacted. He also said he's had his buttocks grabbed by "powerful women."
"I mean I was stronger and bigger than the guy, and [then there’s] the fact that no one is going to believe you if you’re a woman because your voice is already not heard," he said. "I’ve also experienced [harassment] as a man from women of power…. I’ve had my ass grabbed multiple times by powerful women."
Baldoni said he is thankful that the "infected pimple is finally being popped and healing can actually begin." He suggested that the other part of the #MeToo movement has to be "I'm sorry."
"I guarantee at some point in my life there is a woman or two that I in some way made uncomfortable by saying something or doing something that was chauvinistic or sexist," Baldoni said. "There is one million percent probability that that exists, and all I can do is say, 'I’m sorry, I was naive, I was young, I screwed up, and I’ll try to do better.'"
Baldoni isn't the first male actor to come forward as a victim of sexual harassment. Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp was the first man to come forward to accuse Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct, while Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Terry Crews has spoken out against a talent agent who he says sexually assaulted him.
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