#MeToo: You probably forgot these 10 male celebrities faced sexual assault allegations
Yep, privilege has that effect
In October, it’ll be five years since the #MeToo movement changed everything. Since actress Alyssa Milano suggested everyone use the Twitter hashtag to tell their stories of sexual assault, abuse and harassment; we’ve seen a lot of huge progress.
Harvey Weinstein was convicted, and currently serving 23 years in prison. R Kelly and Bill Cosby suffered similar fates; while Louis CK kissed goodbye to all future career opportunities.
But, what about the A-listers who went on to do other things after being caught up in the movement? Here are 10 celebrities who faced assault allegations (and you probably forgot about it):
1. Aziz Ansari
In 2018, we published a first-person account by a woman accusing the comedian of sexual misconduct. On the same day, he released a statement saying he was “surprised and concerned” that she felt uncomfortable after the date, despite everything seeming “OK” to him.
Nothing further was pursued, and after a short break, Ansari returned to performing later that year. His newest Netflix special, Aziz Ansari: Nightclub Comedian, will be available to stream later this year.
2. Chris Brown
Pre-#MeToo, Brown famously pled guilty to assaulting ex-girlfriend Rihanna. Instead of his career ending there-and-then, he went on to release seven more albums, various high-profile collaborations with the likes of Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber, as well as guest roles in various TV shows.
The singer has been at the centre of plenty of other allegations since then. In 2016, he was arrested after a woman accused him of threatening her with a gun. In 2017, he was issued a restraining order against another of his exes, Karrueche Tran. In 2018, an unnamed woman accused him of being accessory to rape. Finally, in 2019, a French woman alleged Brown raped her alongside his bodyguard and a member of his entourage.
His latest album, Breezy, will be released in June.
3. Brett Kavanaugh
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (2018 -) Brett Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault by a uni lecturer. She stated he’d groped her while drunk at a party 30 years ago, as well as attempting to remove her clothes by force. He was never criminally charged, and the Senate ultimately voted to give him a lifetime seat on the court. He’s still serving today.
4. Morgan Freeman
According to CNN, eight different women accused the once-beloved film star of inappropriate behaviour and harassment. They alleged he’d make unsolicited comments on their bodies, and often attempt to lift their tops up.
Freeman denied the claims, stating “it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced comments or humour.”
He has five films coming out this year.
5. Ryan Seacrest
Suzie Hardy, the US presenter’s former stylist, accused him of sexual abuse in 2017. She claimed she left her job in 2013 after reporting him to HR.
Seacrest vehemently denied the claim in the following statement: “This person who has accused me of horrible things offered, on multiple occasions, to withdraw her claims if I paid her millions of dollars. I refused. I have worked extremely hard to achieve my success and I don’t take my opportunities for granted. I don’t want to accuse anyone of not telling the truth but in this case, I have no choice but to again deny the claims against me, remind people that I was recused of any wrongdoing, and put the matter to rest.”
He currently presents several radio shows in America.
6. Ben Affleck
By October 2017, several of Affleck’s former colleagues had accused him of groping. In response to one of the accusers, he apologised for “acting inappropriately.” Since then, he’s appeared in The Last Duel, The Flash and due to star in upcoming US film Hypnotic. Affleck is also in a highly-celebrated relationship with Jennifer Lopez.
7. James Franco
Five women accused the actor of sexually exploitative behaviour in 2018. He responded on The Late Show, saying “the things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate.” No further action was taken, and four films with his involvement are expected to be released this year.
8. Ed Westwick
In late 2017, three girls accused the Gossip Girl actor of rape – one of whom actually reported him to the police. In March 2018, a fourth girl alleged she’d been repeatedly sexually assaulted by Westwick while he held her hostage for two days.
Westwick responded in a statement: “I have never forced myself in any manner, on any woman. I certainly have never committed rape.”
Los Angeles prosecutors decided not to file charges due to lack of evidence, and the actor was allowed to continue his role as Vincent in BBC’s White Gold. He also starred in Me You Madness last year.
9. Dustin Hoffman
Two women accused the Mr Magorium actor of sexual assault in December 2017. A further two – including a former intern on the set of Death of a Salesman – came out with historic allegations of sexual misconduct. Hoffman responded to the intern’s allegation shortly afterwards, saying “(I) feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation.” He still hasn’t responded to the other accusations.
This year, Hoffman will star in As They Made Us, as well as a film called Sam & Kate, which is currently in post-production.
10. John Lasseter
Former Chief-Creative Officer of Disney-Pixar John Lasseter was accused of “grabbing, kissing and making comments about physical attributes” by co-workers in 2017. Writer and actor Rashida Jones stopped working on Toy Story 4 due to “women and POC not having an equal creative voice.”
In a statement, Lasseter said: “It’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s the only way to learn from them…. I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form.” He left Pixar at the end of 2018.
The following year, he was made head of Skydance Animation – responsible for films like The Search for WondLa. He’s still there today.
If you or someone you know has been affected by this story contact Rape Crisis online for a free confidential chat helpline.
Related stories recommended by this writer:
- Named: These are the MPs who have been accused of sexual misconduct
- ‘I was like a carer’: The agonising reality of growing up with an alcoholic parent
- The Metropolitan Police ‘breached rights of Sarah Everard vigil organisers’, a High Court rules
Featured image via BBC, CBS and Instagram before edits.