Sexual abuse accusations in the entertainment industry go back as far as 1921. These allegations have gained more strength as allegations are surfacing against directors, producers, actors, and others related to the industry. In 1977, sexual abuse in the entertainment grew when news regarding Roman Polanski, a film director, fled the U.S. after he was convicted for sexually abusing a minor.
Director sexual abuse gained extensive attention in 2017 when producer Harvey Weinstein was charged with sexual abuse. His victim list included more than eighty women and led to dozens of women and men to publicly announce sexual abuse that they had to endure. The Weinstein Effect developed from these announcements and also the Me Too Movement. Actors joined in the protest and sympathized with the victims. It is still a subject that draws a lot of public concern.
- Weinstein Effect
The Weinstein Effect became a global trend when people came forward to accuse a powerful or famous man of sexual abuse. These allegations became a worldwide wave beginning in 2017 when film producer Harvey Weinstein was accused and convicted of sexual abuse.
- Me Too Movement
This Movement is a large variety of international and local names fighting sexual harassment and abuse. The statement, Me Too began being used in a way to put a stop to sexual abuse and harassment by a sexually abused survivor in social media. It grew in popularity and usage across the globe.
Sex Abuse and Film Directors
Sexual abuse cases became public knowledge back in 1921 when actor Roscoe Arbuckle sexually abused actress Virginia Rappe. Arbuckle took advantage of Rappe after he had gotten her drunk, and the act was so violent, she died four days later. Arbuckle was taken to trial on three separate trials, two of which ended with hung juries, and the third granted him an acquittal. Despite his acquittal, the vast media coverage and the scandal following the accusation ruined Arbuckle’s career.
In 1977 a 13-year-od Samantha Gailey claimed director Roman Polanski forced her to have sex. She described how the director took her to Jack Nicholson’s house in Los Angeles under the assumption he wanted her as a model for a Vogue magazine photoshoot. Ms. Gailey states that once alone in the house with Polanski, he raped her.
The Polanski case got the attention of the American media, who condemned his actions. In 2003, Polanski was awarded the Academy Award for Best Director, but he did not attend the ceremonies to collect his award. In 2009, he was arrested in Zurich at the request of American authorities for the rape of Samantha Gailey. Because the Justice Department announced Switzerland was not allowed to extradite Polanski, the Supreme Court would not reopen the case. Ms. Gailey gave up her fight in 2017, asking that the case be closed so she could turn the page on this tragic event and move on with her life.
Stop Sexual Abuse Firm will stand beside you, no matter how difficult the case, if you have experienced sexual abuse from a director. These men and women have power over a lot of people working in the industry, and this power often makes them believe they can exercise control over others sexually. We will fight for you and see that you receive the justice and compensation you need and deserve.
Victims of Director Sexual Abuse
Americans have a hard time believing their movie director, TV actor, film star, or others who have gained fame in the entertainment industry could have committed sex crimes. These people bring great entertainment into our lives through the big screen and our televisions, and we begin to think we know them personally through all the media coverage they receive. When we hear allegations of committing such a heinous crime such as sexual abuse, our first thought tends to blame the victim.
The secret to a director being able to get away with sexual abuse stems from their control over the victim by promising new roles or parts and convincing them that no one is going to believe their claim. A director can almost groom their victims into trusting them as they act with impunity behind the scenes.
This misconception on the personality of directors is beginning to change; however, with more and more stories coming out of the entertainment industry that has proven sexual misconduct is a real concern. Statistics now show out of every ten reported rape cases, eight of the victims knew their abuser, and victims are now learning they can receive justice when this horrible crime affects their life.
What Does Sexual Abuse Look Like with a Director?
Sexual abuse is not limited to rape, and even though Harvey Weinstein is still brought up when sexual abuse is mentioned in the industry, other actions are considered sexual abuse, including:
- Being inappropriately touched, hugged, groped, or kissed
- Threats against you if you do not engage in a sexual act
- Being forced to watch an abuser masturbate
- Being forcibly penetrated with a foreign object
- Being given alcohol or drugs so another can ensure your pliancy
Directors often feel they have power over others, and using sexual abuse is a way for them to seek gratification. This form of behavior is about having control over their victims. It is about being able to maintain that power over you and your actions. They are able to use threats such as, ‘you will never work in the industry again,’ or, ‘your reputation will be ruined in the industry.’ These threats are what keep victims silent.
Stop Sexual Abuse Firm wants you to know they will work hard to make these threats false. You can seek justice against a director who uses his or her power against you to perform sexual acts. We will work to ensure your reputation is not ruined, and they are the ones held accountable for these unlawful acts and threats.
Child Stars are Vulnerable to Director Sexual Abuse
There is a high risk of sexual abuse among child stars. There are now reports being made as these children become adults regarding the sexual abuse they suffered when they were young stars starting out in the industry. Almost all of the survivors who have come forward are still working in the entertainment industry, but there are more that have left the business due to their abuse. According to the data compiled, only about twelve percent of child stars who were sexually abused have reported their traumas.
California is now allowing victims of sexual abuse more time to come forward and report their abuse. This new law may help those child stars who were afraid to speak out at the time they were victimized. The legislation was put into place because of the large number of young children who were abused by Catholic priests and gymnastic physician, Larry Nassar. This legislation can help any child who went through the horror of being sexually abused when they were too young to speak out for themselves.
Survivors of sexual abuse can now speak out against their abusers 8 years after they reach adulthood. They can also speak out 3 years after they discover or reasonably discover they suffer from the effects of past sexual abuse. Governor of California extended the statute of limitations for reporting sexual abuse that happened to children. These victims now have until reach the age of 40 to find justice for the crimes committed against them from directors, or any other adult.
The new bill also allows for the revival of past claims. These are claims that may have expired because of the statute of limitations in place previously. It will also allow for damages to be trebled in cases when a child is a victim of sexual abuse and the result of a coverup from past abuse. It is believed these new measures will protect other children or adults from being abused by predators who think they can get away with their crimes.
Sexual Abuse in the Music Industry
California is home to over eighty studios and recording companies with more than a hundred record labels. Some of the biggest music names have their homes on the West Coast, and some of those are sexual predators.
The music industry has not experienced the same outbreak of sexual predators being outed as the television and film industries. The reason behind this may be due to the music industry’s history of disreputable behavior often associated with rock ‘n roll, drugs, and sex. The females in this industry are often sexualized, and the competitive nature of music and its lack of females in leadership roles or mentoring positions may also be a reason sexual abuse is not reported.
For well over a century, the music industry has been exploiting musicians. This means musicians of both genders begin experiencing sexual misconduct from the point of disempowerment. Whether you work in an office, the studio, or on the stage, if you’ve been abused sexually by someone who exerted their power over you, there is help. Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm will fight for you to seek justice and receive the compensation you will need to recover from your injuries.
Sexual Harassment is Also Prevalent in the Entertainment Industry
The news will cover stories about sexual assaults and sexual abuse happening in the entertainment industry, but they don’t often cover the sexual harassment stories. If your director, co-star, manager, agent, or anyone connected to your position in the industry creates a hostile work environment, you can fight for your rights.
Some working in the entertainment industry report they are victims of harassment because they are being made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe in their position. They remain quiet about the harassment because they didn’t want to ‘make waves.’ You should not remain quiet about sexual harassment as it an illegal action, and you do have legal recourse against your harasser.
No matter what industry you work in, it is not ‘ok’ to be sexually harassed. These are some of the actions that can fall under the sexual harassment category:
- Comments with sexual undertones
- Unwanted flirting or constant touching
- Comments made continuously about how you look, or about your body’s private areas, or about your weight
- Requiring you to wear specific and suggestive clothing for promotion reasons
- Asking you for videos or photos of yourself, or sending you pictures of themselves
- Making threats to release photos or videos of you to the internet or paparazzi
- Making inappropriate comments on your social media site
- Telling stories or making jokes about your personal life
Why You Need a Sexual Abuse Attorney in California
If you have been a victim of sexual abuse while working in the entertainment industry in California, you will want an attorney working with you who understands what you are facing. Fighting the system, especially those with power in the industry, can be challenging and intimidating without the proper legal counsel.
Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm knows what it takes to handle high-profile and the sometimes high-conflict cases. There are a number of situations that can arise when confronting a director with sexual abuse that doesn’t happen in other cases. An experienced attorney will know how to help you with:
- Press conferences if you are asked to speak about your story
- Media requests and interviews when are asked to appear
- Keeping your name as confidential as possible in court findings when it is legally possible
- Ensuring any settlement negotiations will be kept quiet if you choose to settle
- Helping you to find a place to stay if there becomes a problem with photographers
- Working with your manager or agent to respond and monitor social media posts
If you want to speak out about your abuse and the lawsuit you have filed, know that Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm is not afraid to stand with you. We are not afraid to take on the high-profile abusers and ensure your rights are protected, and you receive the compensation you deserve.
Director and Other Liable Parties Committing Sexual Abuse in Entertainment
The director may not be the only liable party for the traumatic sexual abuse you have suffered. In the entertainment industry, numerous persons believe their ranking over you entitles them to control you. Others in the industry who may have injured you include:
- Someone within the agency you work with
- Owners of the studio where you work
- Your publicist
- Your manager
- The production company or someone from your production team
Whether it was your director or any of those on the above list, we are ready to defend you and help you seek justice from your abuser.
New Sexual Abuse Law in California Opens Doors for Victims
Lawsuits are now going to be possible for thousands of sexual abuse victims as a result of Governor Newsom’s new law. Children who remained silent about their abuse, as well as adults who have suffered at the hands of their director, boy scout leader, Catholic priest, or anyone else and remained silent, can now come forward.
Across the country, victims of sexual abuse are coming forward to seek justice for the injuries they’ve suffered at the hands of someone they trusted, or from a stranger. In New York State, there were more than 400,00 lawsuits filed in August after the law was passed there. New York and New Jersey went one step further than California and increased their reporting age to 55.
In California, there were more than 1,000 lawsuits against the Catholic Church when the statute was changed as victims are more willing and able to speak up regarding their suffering than they were when they were younger.
Director Sexual Abuse in California
Sexual harassment and abuse in your workplace violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. Sexual harassment is considered any unwelcome sexual advance, verbal, visual, or physical behavior of a sexual nature or creating an atmosphere that is hostile or intimidating.
Under the law in California, this type of offensive behavior doesn’t need to be motivated by sexual desire, but it can be based on your actual or perceived sex or gender or even a related medical condition. There are a lot of behaviors that fall under the sexual harassment category. If you feel this is happening to you on the set or behind the scenes, or if the director handling your present position is making unwanted sexual demands, you should contact an attorney familiar with sexual abuse and harassment laws in California. Stop Sexual Abuse Firm has the experience you will need when facing your abuser. They are ready to stand beside you and stop the abuse now.
What to do if You’re a Victim of Sexual Abuse by a Director
Anyone who has been sexually abused has the right to sue for damages. In the State of California, sexual abuse can be both a criminal and a civil case. You do not have to wait for a verdict on a criminal case against your abuser; you can file a civil lawsuit right away to seek compensation. When you file for damages against your abuser, it is different from filing a criminal charge. Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm will help you file your claim in civil court to receive compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering.
If the director in charge of your current part, or if a director at any time in your career has harassed you by making sexual demands, you can file a lawsuit. There are options and support available for you when you are ready to come forward and speak out against this heinous behavior. What you can do if you’re a victim of sexual abuse by a director:
- If the production company you work for has a sexual harassment policy, you should read it and take the appropriate action. Put your complaint in writing and document each incident of abuse or harassment. Track the time and date of any persons involved.
- Inform those in charge of the company, or whoever is in charge of your work, about the event. If there is a policy, it could affect your case if you fail to report your abuser to the right person in authority.
- You will then need to file a complaint with the appropriate federal or state agency.
- The DFEH (California Department of Fair Employment and Housing) would be the state agency you need to contact as they are in charge of protecting residents of California against unlawful discrimination. If your civil rights have been violated, this agency can help you pursue damages on your behalf.
- The EEOC (Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) enforces antidiscrimination laws on the federal level. You will not have to file with them if you’ve filed with the DFEH as the two agencies cross-file cases.
- Once your complaint has been evaluated, it will be determined if an investigation is warranted. The director, or your abuser, will be asked to respond to your complaint, and their response will be reviewed with you. If it is found a violation of the California law happened, the case is then forwarded to the legal division for a possible lawsuit.
Stop Sexual Abuse Firm will stay by your side through this entire process and help you deal with all the filing and paperwork necessary for the lawsuit. We will provide not only the legal support you will need but the personal support to help you stay strong and seek your justice. Sexual abuse is traumatic and an extremely personal attack. Many victims are left traumatized for years, and coming forward is like reliving the event and one they cannot face until years after the injury occurred. When you are ready to come forward, know that as a survivor of sexual abuse, you are not alone.
Find Help for Director Sexual Abuse Near Me
If you have been the victim of an overpowering director who felt it their right to abuse you sexually, call the Stop Sexual Abuse Law Firm at 310-359-9451. We will help you take that first step towards the justice you deserve. We are ready to help you overcome your suffering by finding justice and help you move on, knowing your abuser has been held accountable. We understand the trauma of sexual abuse and have a team of compassionate attorneys who will treat you with respect and dignity you deserve. Call today and let us help you through this extremely difficult situation.