Rachel Zegler addresses sexual assault allegation against West Side Story costar Ansel Elgort
West Side Story star Rachel Zegler is addressing the sexual assault allegations made against her love interest in the film, Ansel Elgort, for the first time.
"We made a movie two and a half years ago, and a lot has gone on in the world since then," the actress, who plays Maria opposite Elgort's Tony, said in a Hollywood Reporter cover story of the accusations, which came to light after they'd finished filming. "A lot has changed very publicly, and privately as well. There's been a lot of awakening. You just hope that the people involved are okay, that they are asked in a respectful manner, and that they are given the opportunity to answer for themselves."
West Side Story actors Rita Moreno and Ariana DeBose, who participated in the interview along with Zegler, also offered their thoughts on the situation.
"I think it would have been absolutely horrendous and wrong for anyone to take sides in that matter. It's not for me to make those judgments," said Moreno, while DeBose added "nobody really knows what's going on in anyone's head. Only the people who were involved in that situation know what actually went down."
In June 2020, Elgort was accused of sexual assault by a woman named Gabby, who alleged that the actor took advantage of her when she was 17 and he was 20. After Gabby came forward on social media saying that Elgort had also attempted to solicit nude photos from her and asked to have a threesome, Elgot denied the allegations in a statement.
"I have never and would never assault anyone" he said, while also admitting that he did have a "brief, legal, and entirely consensual relationship" with Gabby.
"Unfortunately, I did not handle the breakup well. I stopped responding to her, which is an immature and cruel thing to do to someone," the actor continued. "I know this belated apology does not absolve me of my unacceptable behavior when I disappeared. As I look back at my attitude, I am disgusted and deeply ashamed of the way I acted. I am truly sorry. I know I must continue to reflect, learn, and work to grow in empathy."