In 2017, Riverdale star Lili Reinhart posted a lengthy Tumblr post and detailed her past experience with sexual assault in Hollywood. The actress recounted the moment “a man in a position of power over me used that said power to try and take advantage of me,” when she was 16 years old. Now, the 23-year-old has opened up about what she learned from publicly sharing her story.
Lili revealed that, looking back, she believes that she shared her experience too soon.
“I think I shared my story…before I had really understood it,” she admitted to Allure in the magazine’s March 2020 cover story. “I kept thinking of it as something physical, but it was more so a psychological abuse…that spanned a couple of months. I went along with it and was trying to get his approval because we were working together…. I wanted my work environment to be easy.”
The actress also said that she thinks speaking out about these types of situations can be helpful to others who have suffered the same experiences.
“What makes me hopeful is people like [Glee star] Melissa Benoist sharing her story of domestic abuse with the world, because I think she helped a lot of people by doing that,” Lili said. “When people come forward about a sexual abuse experience or physical abuse or them struggling with a disorder, they’re encouraging other people to not suffer in silence.”
Aside from sharing her sexual assault story, Lili has been open with her fans on social media about her mental health and body image struggles. She also spoke passionately to the publication about wanting to implement mental health classes into schools.
“We need to be bringing the idea of mental health into schools and teaching it. It’s about communicating clearly,” she said before sharing her own high school experience. “I felt very alone. But I was not being bullied, which made it really hard for my parents to understand. I went through a semester when I didn’t have any friends in my lunch period, and I didn’t want to sit in a huge cafeteria by myself, so I would find classrooms to go sit in alone, or spend time in the bathroom, just chilling.”
Now, the actress revealed, that her moments of intense anxiety are few and far between.
“Three and a half years ago, I had no money. I didn’t have a love in my life like I do now. I didn’t have any sort of confidence that I was on the right track, and now I have those things,” she said.
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