Lili Reinhart: I spoke about my sexual assault story too soon


Lili Reinhart thinks she spoke about her sexual assault before she "really understood" what had happened.

The 'Riverdale' actress first opened up about her experience with alleged sexual assault in a 2017 Tumblr post, where she told her followers an adult work associate tried to force himself on her when she was 16.

And now, the 23-year-old star thinks she shared her story too soon, because she only focused on the "physical" aspect of her allegations as didn't understand the "psychological abuse" she also endured.

She said: "I think I shared my story ... before I had really understood it. 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."

But Lili is glad she spoke about her experience, because she has seen how fellow stars have helped others with their stories, and wants her story to help people too.

Speaking to Allure magazine, she explained: "What makes me hopeful is people like Melissa Benoist sharing her story of domestic abuse with the world, because I think she helped a lot of people by doing that. 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."

In her 2017 post, Lili recalled how a "man in a position of power over me used that said power to try and take advantage of me."

She said she tried to confront the man about it, but he allegedly told her it was her "fault for leading him on," calling her a "tease" and the "most manipulative woman he'd ever met."

The actress wrote at the time: "His ego was bruised to say the least, because I refused to engage with him sexually that night. He refused to talk to me. I remember begging him to come outside his trailer so we could talk. I needed clarity on the situation. I felt like I had genuinely done something wrong - that maybe I really was being a tease to him and led him to believe that I wanted to be with him sexually. I was miserable. And I felt that I needed to keep my mouth shut about the entire situation because 1. I figured no one would believe me and 2. he played a much bigger role in this project than me ... he had more power. If I said something, maybe the production would be halted ... people would be put out of work. I would be looked at as dramatic and a diva, no one would want to work with me again."