Rachel Zegler found it 'a gut punch' being asked about Ansel Elgort allegations

·3-min read

Rachel Zegler found it a "real gut punch" to be quizzed on Ansel Elgort's sexual assault allegations while promoting 'West Side Story'.
The 20-year-old actress shot her debut movie opposite the 28-year-old actor in 2019, with its release being delayed until December 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and in June 2020, the 'Baby Driver' star was accused of sexually assaulting a 17 year old in 2014 and asking her for nude photos, allegations he denied at the time when he insisted they were involved in a "brief, legal, and entirely consensual relationship".
And Rachel admitted it was "wildly disappointing" that she was constantly asked questions about the claims, despite having nothing to do with "the conversation", and people seemingly ignoring how the topic may have impacted on her.
She told the new issue of Elle magazine: "I really don't have anything to do with this conversation, and I'm looking forward to moving past it.
"[There is] inherent discomfort that comes with that realisation 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 realising that it comes from a place of me having to answer for that, and not them actually caring about whether or not I was okay, 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."
Rachel admitted the questioning took her back to her "worst mental health days" around when the scandal first broke.
She said: "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. 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."
But the actress acknowledged she "could never know" what Ansel's accuser was going through.
She added: "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. If I'm sitting here thinking that those days were traumatizing for me, I don't pretend to know. I could never know."

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