Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick responds to rape accusation
Actress Kristina Cohen has accused Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick of raping her three years ago, as detailed in a post published to Facebook on Monday, and the actor responded Tuesday on Instagram.
“I was briefly dating a producer who was friends with the actor Ed Westwick,” Cohen, 27, wrote. “It was this producer who brought me up to Ed’s house where I met Ed for the first time. I wanted to leave when Ed suggested ‘we should all f–k.’ But the producer didn’t want to make Ed feel awkward by leaving. Ed insisted we stay for dinner. I said I was tired and wanted to leave, trying to get out of what was already an uncomfortable situation. Ed suggested I nap in the guest bedroom. The producer said we would stay for just another 20 more minutes to smooth everything over, and then we could leave.
“So I went and laid down in the guest room where I eventually fell asleep, I was woken up abruptly by Ed on top of me, his fingers entering my body,” she continued. “I told him to stop, but he was strong. I fought him off as hard as I could but he grabbed my face in his hands, shaking me, telling me he wanted to fuck me. I was paralyzed, terrified. I couldn’t speak, I could no longer move. He held me down and raped me. It was a nightmare, and the days following weren’t any better.”
“I do not know this woman,” Westwick responded. “I have never forced myself in any manner, on any woman. I certainly have never committed rape.”
Cohen, who appeared on television series like Ladies Like Us and Californication, explained how she buried her “pain and guilt” from the assault; her mother was also dying from cancer at the time, and she “didn’t have the support system or time to process and deal with the aftermath of the rape.” But “the outpouring of stories” about sexual harassment and assault in the industry from the past month have compelled her to come forward.
Cohen recalled how her producer boyfriend at the time blamed her for the assault, calling her “an active participant” and warning that “Ed will have people come after [her]” and “destroy” her if she accused Westwick of rape.
“And for the longest time, I believed him,” Cohen wrote. “I didn’t want to be ‘that girl.'”
The actress says she’s “sickened” to see Westwick “respected in such a public way” and that she hopes her coming forward “will help others to know that they are not alone, that they are not to blame, and it is not their fault.”
Referring to figures like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, and James Toback — all of whom have been accused of sexual harassment and assault in the industry — she concluded, “I hope that my stories and the stories of others help to rest and realign the toxic environments and power imbalances that have created these monsters.”
Representatives for Westwick have yet to respond to EW’s request for further comment.