As the sexual abuse scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein continues to dominate news headlines into a third week, Molly Ringwald has come forward with her own accounts of sexual harassment and assault she experienced during her career.

The 49 year old star was one of the most recognisable stars of the 1980s, featuring in hit movies like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club.

In a new essay published in the New Yorker on Tuesday (October 17th) titled ‘All The Other Harvey Weinsteins’, Ringwald said that she had met Weinstein before as a 20 year old but he did not harass her. However, she detailed lurid experiences she suffered at the hands of directors and power-players in the movie business just before she broke big at the age of 16. She described how a 50 year old crew member and a married director separately made inappropriate advances toward her on set.

Molly RingwaldMolly Ringwald detailed her own experiences with sexual harassment

“While my own Harvey story may be different, I have had plenty of Harveys of my own over the years, enough to feel a sickening shock of recognition,” Ringwald wrote.

“When I was 13, a 50 year old crew member told me that he would teach me to dance, and then proceeded to push against me with an erection. When I was 14, a married film director stuck his tongue in my mouth on set. At a time when I was trying to figure out what it meant to become a sexually viable young woman, at every turn some older guy tried to help speed up the process.”

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Ringwald also recounted an occasion in which a director asked her to allow an actor to put a dog collar round her neck as she was reading lines for an audition.

“I don’t know if the collar ever made it on me, because that’s the closest I’ve had to an out-of-body experience,” she continued. “I’d like to think that I just walked out, but, more than likely, there’s an old VHS tape, disintegrating in a drawer somewhere, of me trying to remember lines with a dog collar around my neck in front of a young man I once had a crush on. I sobbed in the parking lot and, when I got home and called my agent to tell him what happened, he laughed and said, “Well, I guess that’s one for the memoirs…”.

Echoing the sentiments made elsewhere by scores of other actresses against Harvey Weinstein over the last fortnight, Ringwald said that she hadn’t come forward until now because, in the industry, the sexual harassment of women had been so normalised.

“I never talked about these things publicly because, as a woman, it has always felt like I may as well have been talking about the weather. Stories like these have never been taken seriously. Women are shamed, told they are uptight, nasty, bitter, can’t take a joke, are too sensitive. And the men? Well, if they’re lucky, they might get elected President.”

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