Rachel Zegler is candidly speaking out about the sexual assault allegations against Ansel Elgort.
In the latest issue of Elle, the Snow White actress addressed the allegations about her West Side Story co-star that were in the headlines while promoting the Oscar-winning film.
In 2020, a woman accused Ansel of sexually assaulting her back in 2014 when she was said to be 17 years old. Ansel was 20 at the time of the alleged incident.
During a roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter in January, Rachel and her co-stars Ariana DeBose and Rita Moreno were questioned about the allegations. Rachel stated that this was “a real gut punch.”
She said this about being asked to answer for Ansel, who played her love interest in their movie:
“It was a real gut punch, honestly.
I reverted back to this brain space I was in [back in] June of 2020, when the accusation surfaced. We were in the middle of the first wave of lockdown, and there was nothing to do but doom-scroll. Those days were some of the worst mental health days I’ve ever had.”
She went on, opening up about what was going through her head when the allegations first surfaced:
I was sitting there having just turned 19, on the precipice of what was promised to be the biggest moment in my life, and was being held accountable [by the public] for accusations that not only had nothing to do with me but were made about a situation that was said to have occurred [five] years prior to when I had met and worked with this person.
With no thought to the fact that I was also 17 when I met this person, 17 when I worked with them, 17 and 18 when I had to do love scenes.”
Ansel has denied the allegations, calling his relationship with the woman back then to be “brief, legal and entirely consensual.” Rachel said to the publication that there was a real “discomfort” in feeling that she had to answer for a person who, according to her, can “speak for himself.” She explained:
“[There is] inherent discomfort that comes with that realization that there are tons of people who think that you have to answer for the actions of an adult male who can speak for himself. It is so wildly disappointing at every turn, no matter how you slice it.
No matter how many times I’ve tried to justify people’s concern when it comes to me in my brain, but then realizing that it comes from a place of me having to answer for that, and not them actually caring about whether or not I was OK, was really hurtful.”
And also paying no mind when it came to the conversation between myself and these other incredible women in my cast, without any thought process to our experiences as women in the industry who constantly find ourselves in close encounters with men in power, and a very iconic woman in Hollywood who has spoken about her experience with sexual assault. In the grand scheme of things with this woman who has come forward with these allegations, I cannot imagine what she had to go through.”
Rachel declared that she wants to move past it:
“If I’m sitting here thinking that those days were traumatizing for me, I don’t pretend to know. I could never know. I really don’t have anything to do with this conversation, and I’m looking forward to moving past it.”