The primary elements of sexual abuse are coercion and intimidation. It can be hard to fight back if you face sexual abuse from someone with high status and immense wealth. For decades, sexual abuse in Hollywood has remained a secret. However, sexual abuse is a crime, regardless of the perpetrator's status. The law allows you to fight back for the justice you deserve if you have been a victim of Hollywood sexual abuse. Maybe a celebrity or any other person in Hollywood sexually abused you. The Sex Crimes Attorney can assist you in recovering damages for the pain, suffering, and injuries from sexual abuse.
Understanding Hollywood Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse crimes in Hollywood are one of the world's worst-kept secrets. For decades, there have been whispers and rumors regarding adult and child actors suffering ongoing sexual assault, violence, abuse, and harassment at the hands of high-profile people in Hollywood. Women are the primary victims of sexual abuse, but even men are not immune to it.
Wealthy celebrities and executives in Hollywood have abused their authority and power since the industry's inception. They have sexually harassed, assaulted, and engaged in other sexual misbehavior that goes unpunished. The main reason sexual abuse in Hollywood goes unreported is that most victims do not understand the difference between unwanted sexual contact and showbiz demands. For example, in 2003, Oscar best-actor award winner Adrien Brody grabbed presenter Halle Berry and deep-kissed her at the podium.
In 2017, the Hollywood sexual abuse topic began making headlines in the United States. Hundreds of women stepped forward to condemn the founder and creator of Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, who is also the founder of the Miramax Company. Since 2017, many women have come forward to speak out against adult and child sexual assault perpetrated by influential Hollywood men and actors.
Unfortunately, most women were unaware of the 'Me Too' movement that began in 2006. The 'Me Too' movement aimed to create awareness for women who had suffered sexual assault. The term was amplified after actor Alyssa Milano posted it on Twitter. Milano is among the women who allege that Harvey Weinstein abused them.
The 'Me Too' Movement brought significant change in Hollywood, and the sample case for this movement was Mr. Weinstein. The women accused Mr. Weinstein of using his powers to harass them and force them to have sexual relationships with him. He often preyed on actresses, threatening to ruin their careers if they did not give in to his demands. He also abused members of staff, producers, and writers. Unfortunately, most women who accused Weinstein and later exposed his despicable conduct were not celebrities.
Sexual abuse can typically take the following forms:
- Attempted rape and rape.
- Exposing private parts or a nude body for sexual gratification.
- Vulgar statements, jokes, and remarks made electronically or verbally.
- Repeated unwanted sexual advances with clear warnings.
- Unconsented and unwelcome touching.
- Quid pro quo sexual advances.
Other Women And Men Who Have Spoken Out On Sexual Abuse In Hollywood
Several other celebrities have come out to claim that they were sexually abused, including:
- Brendan Fraser — An actor who did not go public after being humiliated and groped. He only spoke about the incident years later.
- Evan Rachel Wood — She is an actor who suffered rape twice. She encourages the sexual abuse victims that they cannot afford to keep quiet any longer.
- Lady Gaga — She is a famous American singer who was raped at the age of 19 years. She underwent psychotherapy for many years before recovering from the ordeal.
Child Stars Sexual Abuse
The 'Me Too' movement has substantially impacted women in Hollywood and assisted them in fighting sexual abuse and harassment. However, the tragic reality is still happening and is not spoken about child star sexual assault. Child sexual assault cases involving child actors are common in Hollywood and often go unaired. Eight men in 2017 narrated how Hollywood producer and theme-park designer Gary Goddard sexually assaulted them when they were minors. They claimed that the incident occurred on Disneyland rides, where they spent the night on a statewide theater tour and backstage in the 1979s.
Corey Feldman and Corey Haim are other men who claimed that an influential Hollywood group of pedophiles sexually abused them as they passed them around. Unfortunately, Haim of the famous act "The Lost Boys" died of suicide at 39.
Alex Winter also narrated how he felt extreme PTSD after being sexually abused as a minor. Joey Coleman was among the many minor actors in a controversial documentary entitled "An Open Secret." The documentary highlighted the perpetrators of sexual abuse and harassment in Hollywood. Coleman alleged that the ex-manager of child actors, Michael Harrah, sexually assaulted him. Coleman tabled a phone conversation before the court as evidence.
Reasons Why Sexual Abuse Is Common In Hollywood
For decades, sexual abuse has been the norm in Hollywood. There have been many questions about why women in white-collar jobs do not discuss this crime. First, most women do not understand what sexual abuse is all about. Secondly, even women who understand the difference between sexual abuse and professional interactions lack the courage to speak out. Finally, most women avoid speaking out against their offenders because there are no strict anti-retaliation and anti-harassment policies.
Unfortunately, the situation gets worse each day if victims of sexual abuse, violence, and harassment fail to open up. Often, perpetrators believe they are invincible when there are few or no complaints. This gives room for the vice to continue.
Sexual abuse could become the norm in the workplace if company owners or managers fail to take issues seriously. It could also become the norm if they fail to act against the crime's perpetrators. Additionally, sexual abuse is common in the entertainment industry because people in power are often the perpetrators of this crime. They have the influence and command to silence those who try to accuse them and possibly end their professions. These influential people generally use intimidation and coercion to make their victims feel hopeless or silence them, even if they speak about it. As a result, people end up not believing the victims, and even if they do, the victims cannot pursue the expensive and lengthy legal process.
The pursuit of becoming a celebrity in dance or acting draws many women to Hollywood. However, influential and financially endowed men have dominated the industry from the beginning. These men can throw lavish parties and events in the name of "networking." As a result, most victims fear their careers will end before they start, turning Hollywood into an environment of zero accountability, secrecy, and cover-ups for sexual predators. Therefore, perpetrators and victims have grown to uphold the misconception that sexual abuses are just party favors.
Typically, if you fail to speak about sexual abuse, you encourage the perpetrators of the crime to continue with their pervasive culture. You have a right to justice regardless of a perpetrator's economic, professional, or social status. If you consult a skilled attorney, you can recover damages for all the injuries and suffering. A competent attorney can help you create a strong defense and ensure a winning opportunity during trials and settlement negotiations.
The Steps You Should Take As Hollywood Sexual Abuse Victim
The law allows you to file a claim as a Hollywood sexual abuse victim. You could recover the damages suffered following the abuse. The steps you should take to recover the damages include:
Give Your Safety A Priority
After sexual abuse, it is normal to go into denial, self-blame, and shock. People are different, and every person will adopt a unique mechanism to handle the situation. Do anything that could make you feel safe, like reporting the incident to the local law enforcers or sharing it with someone close to you. You could also retreat to your house for days or take long showers all day after reporting to the relevant authorities.
Go For Treatment
You must seek treatment immediately if you suffer injuries after sexual abuse. Seeking medication is necessary because it will ensure your safety and health. An experienced medical expert could also help you gather essential evidence to prove your claims. Your doctor could assist you in keeping the evidence if you do not feel confident enough to file a report immediately. You could retrieve the evidence once you are ready to seek justice.
Hire an Attorney
You can only heal from the trauma of sexual abuse by seeking justice. Therefore, you need to seek the services of a skilled and compassionate attorney who can provide invaluable assistance as you pursue holding the perpetrator accountable.
The healing journey after sexual abuse always has difficulties. Therefore, pursuing justice is the only sure way to start a new chapter in your life. Recovering the damages cannot erase what occurred, but it will assist you in meeting the expenses of treatment and therapy that will help your healing.
Several organizations offer reliable support to victims of sexual abuse. In addition, you can consult a relative or friend, find a support group near you, or enroll in therapy. You do not need to keep everything to yourself because you are not at fault for what happened.
Why People Fail to Open Up On Sexual Abuse In Hollywood
Most sexual abuse crimes in Hollywood date back decades. According to the accounts of sexual abuse victims in Hollywood, including famous female celebrities, it has taken them years and decades to open up about the crime. Each case is unique, and several reasons made the victims not speak about it. Some of the reasons include:
A thorough investigation will sometimes be carried out on your past criminal background and relationships if you accuse an influential person of sexual abuse. However, some people fear that opening up about sexual abuse will only expose their private lives to the public. For example, one woman in Hollywood failed to speak about Roy Moore's sexual abuse of her for fear that her three divorces and financial troubles would taint her credibility.
Confusion and Self-Doubt
It is common for you to feel guilty after facing sexual abuse. You could wrestle with the thought that you could have done something differently to avoid sexual abuse. You could think that if only you were not naïve or at the right place and time, you would not have suffered sexual abuse.
You could also blame yourself and feel guilty for sexual abuse because you:
- Did not fight the perpetrator — In some circumstances, failing to fight back is safe for you.
- Had an orgasm — Your body and mind can often reveal two separate stories. Abuse can occur even without your consent.
- Felt aroused — Generally, arousal involves the brain and the body. However, the physical reactions and the brain sometimes tell different stories. For example, lubrication can occur as a mechanism for protecting you from potential tears, scrapes, and bruising. However, this does not refute the claim that you were not willing.
- Did not say "No" — Some people usually feel saying "No" could endanger them.
The above reasons can make you feel like you partially contributed to the incident. However, it is crucial to understand that sexual abuse did not happen because of your mistake.
Fear of Professional Associated Repercussions
Most perpetrators of Hollywood sex abuse are influential individuals in authority. Most victims of sexual abuse claim that the perpetrators take it personally when the victims reject their advances. For example, six women alleged that Les Moonves became cold and hostile to them after rejecting his advances. Two women alleged that Moonves directly threatened to end their profession.
Other women also alleged failure to report Harvey Weistein's sexual abuse because they feared professional-associated repercussions. They kept silent because the Miramax founder and producer was an influential person who held their careers in his hands. For example, actress Gwyneth Paltrow tried to accuse Weinstein by confiding in her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, but Weinstein warned her against telling anyone. This made her keep quiet for fear of losing her job.
Most Cases Have Ill Motives
The die-hards of an influential person will always be suspicious when you make allegations of sexual abuse against them. For example, four women accused Roy Moore, an Alabama Senate candidate, of sexually pursuing them while they were teenagers. These claims, however, encountered severe backlash from the supporters of the candidate. The supporters alleged that the timing of the accusations was suspicious because they spoke about the incident a few weeks before the Senate elections.
Fear of Living With a Tainted Name
Artist Andrea Costand accused Bill Cosby of rape, and later, she suffered massive slander after the disclosure. She was branded many names, including "gold digger, "con artist, and "pathological liar. Some even accused her of demanding compensation to save her parents from poverty. Typically, vicious conduct attacks aimed at tainting your truthfulness, values, and motives can last long. However, those making outrageous allegations will always recant once the truth emerges.
Fear That Nobody Will Believe Them
Most victims fear being branded as liars. The victims also worry that people will refuse to walk with them even if they open up about incidents. In this situation, it is always the world of "nobody" against the world of influential individuals.
However, it is always advisable to seek the advice of an experienced attorney. The attorney will help you create the best defense and evidence to shame those trying to taint your story. You could also take a polygraph or retrieve the chat between you and the perpetrator.
The Public Usually Access Hollywood Cases
Usually, cases involving influential people or people in authority hit the headlines. Unfortunately, this can put your life at risk, making it hard to remain safe. It is common for people in power or their supporters to go to the extent of threatening you with death. In addition, most women conceal sexual abuse for fear that accusing an influential person compromises their safety and that of their relatives.
The Damages You Could Recover In a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
The court would award you compensation for being sexually abused in Hollywood, depending on the facts of your case. You should hire a skilled and experienced attorney to help you gather the needed evidence to prove your case and secure significant compensation on your behalf. The damages you could recover include:
- Medical bills or other medical expenses associated with the sexual abuse, like medication, psychiatric treatment, or therapy expenses.
- Relocation expenses, if you moved to another location after the incident.
- Lost wages.
- If the management denied you any kind of stock options, jobs, bonuses, commissions, promotion, wages, or other deserved for either refusing to engage in sexual activity or being coerced to engage in sexual activity.
- Loss of earning capacity.
- Non-economic compensation for pain and suffering could include damages like loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, humiliation, and reputation damage.
- Punitive damages.
Typically, you do not have an absolute right to recover punitive damages. You can only recover punitive damages if your lawsuit moves to trial and the jury or judge finds the defendant's actions heinous.
The Importance of Hiring a Sexual Abuse Attorney
A competent sexual abuse attorney will guide you through filing a claim or lawsuit and proving it. This process involves the following:
- Explaining the alternatives you have, your rights, and the legal channels you should follow.
- Helping you to gather the required evidence to prove your case, including medical records, witness testimonies, therapy, and psychiatric treatment histories, work and employment records, and any other information that could support your case.
- Helping you to file your lawsuit on time.
- Filing all the right documents with the applicable legal research, case law, and evidence that supports your case.
- Negotiating with the parties involved and handling any communication regarding your compensation amount.
Statute of Limitation For Hollywood Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
California law outlines different deadlines for various sex crimes. The law allows you to file a lawsuit if you are a sexual abuse victim, even if the incident happened many decades ago. For example, if you were sexually abused when you were 18 years or above, you have ten years to file your lawsuit. The time is counted from the day of the assault, the perpetrator's intention to abuse you sexually, attempted sexual abuse, or the latest incident of sexual abuse. However, there is an exception to this period. You can file your case within 36 months from the time you learned or should have reasonably learned about the incident that directly caused harm to you. In this case, if someone sexually abused you while you were in your 20s, but you did not know that the abuse caused harm to you, you could still file your case within 36 months of discovering it.
On the other hand, victims of child sexual abuse can file their case at any point before they turn 40 years old. They can also file their case five years from the day they discovered the incident caused harm to them. This new law was enacted in January 2020. The law also provided a look-back period that does not exceed three years, allowing the victims of child sexual abuse to file their cases irrespective of their age and the years since the abuse happened. Unfortunately, the look-back period expired on December 31, 2022. However, many child sexual abuse victims used the window to narrate their ordeal and pursue justice against their perpetrators.
Find a Hollywood Sexual Abuse Attorney Near Me
Most people find it hard to file and prove sexual abuse claims against influential individuals. However, with a skilled and experienced attorney, it is possible. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights better and even know the best legal options to pursue justice. At the Sex Crimes Attorney, we have what it takes to assist you in building a strong case because we have handled countless cases involving Hollywood sexual abuse. We will help you gather the requirements to navigate the justice system. Contact us at 888-666-8480 to speak to one of our attorneys.