Keira Knightley has spoken out in praise of the #MeToo movement, adding her own experience of sexual harassment to the multitudes of women who have already stepped forward.
The Atonement and Pirates Of The Caribbean star said the culture of “silencing… and bullying” women within the film industry was well known, as was the idea that men are “allowed to behave in very different ways than women”.
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Keira opened up about her own sexual assaults – which she said never happened on set, but out in ‘normal’ day to day life.
“In my personal life, when I’ve been in bars, I can count four times when I’ve been assaulted in a minor way,” she told Variety magazine.
“I think everyone has battled their fair share of monsters. It’s not just actresses. It’s teachers; it’s lawyers. I’m not talking about rape, but I’m talking about the people who had been grabbed in pubs or their breasts had been fondled by somebody they didn’t know or they’d had someone shove a hand up their skirt.”
Keira revealed that out of a group of her friends, not one of them had escaped assault.
“For too long, you really did go, ‘Oh, this is just normal’. It’s terrifying that was our response,” she added.
Keira, 32, now says she picks films that don’t portray the rape of female characters, preferring period dramas over modern-day tales; and although the problem still remains, it is getting slightly better.
“I’m suddenly being sent scripts with present-day women who aren’t raped in the first five pages and aren’t simply there to be the loving girlfriend or wife,” she added.
On the subject of Weinstein – who Keira came into contact with for two of her films, The Imitation Game and Begin Again – she said that she only ever had “professional” experiences with him.
“He certainly never asked me for massages or anything like that,” she added.