With the outbreak of sexual assault and harassment scandals throughout Hollywood in recent months, we’ve learned even A-Listers have their own personal #MeToo stories. That includes Jennifer Lopez.
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Lopez opens up about experiencing sexual harassment during the early stages of her career, revealing she had been asked by a director to undress in front of him for one of her first films. “I haven’t been abused in the way some women have. But have I been told by a director to take off my shirt and show my boobs? Yes, I have. But did I do it? No, I did not,” she explained.
Like the many other women who’ve experienced harassment in the entertainment industry — or any workplace, for that matter — Lopez, 48, was afraid to fight back when the incident occurred. “When I did speak up, I was terrified,” she said. “I remember my heart beating out of my chest, thinking, ‘What did I do? This man is hiring me!’ It was one of my first movies. But in my mind, I knew the behavior wasn’t right. It could have gone either way for me. But I think ultimately the Bronx in me was like, ‘Nah, we’re not having it.’”
This isn’t the first time Lopez has been vocal on this topic. Early this year, in an aid trip to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, Lopez, who was dressed in black to express solidarity with the Time’s Up movement, got emotional addressing the issue. “We [Lopez and boyfriend Alex Rodriguez] are humbled and proud to be a part of this effort. You know, today is the Golden Globes in Los Angeles, and a lot of the women, with #TimesUp, are standing up for equality, to be treated equally, and for sexual harassment. I stand here in black doing the same from far away.”
Along with being an actress, singer and dancer (not to mention producer!), we’re so glad the triple-threat is adding activist to her already impressive resume.