Jennifer Lopez Gets Honest About Her Own #MeToo Story, And How She Responded

"When I did speak up, I was terrified."

The #MeToo and Time's Up movements show no signs of stopping, as more and famous voices share their experiences with sexual harassment and assault. That now includes singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, who opened up about her own experience in a new interview with Harper's Bazaar.

"I haven't been abused in the way some women have," Lopez revealed. "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 went on to share a fear many women have in these situations — the potential career repercussions of pushing back against such behavior.

"When I did speak up, I was terrified," Lopez shared. "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.' "

Although the culture may be slow to change, and many women have lost opportunities following abuse, Lopez is an empowering example that it is possible to speak up against harassment, even at an early stage, and still achieve career success down the road.

"I'm not one of those media darlings," Lopez told Harper's Bazaar of her motivation. "I didn't get kissed into this business. I'm from the Bronx. I had to find my way, so I've always felt like I had to prove myself. Maybe that's a good drive to have. I never settle for mediocre."

It's not the first time Lopez has lent her voice to the movement against harassment. In January, she shared her support for Time's Up on social media, writing, "Everyone's resolution for the year: No more accepting sexual harassment and inequality at work as normal. It's not normal."

Later, during the Golden Globes, she was busy helping with hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, but showed solidarity for the cause. "A lot of the women with #TimesUp are standing up for equality, to be treated equally," Lopez said in a speech, which she posted on Instagram. "I stand here today in black doing the same from far away."

As more powerful men are held accountable, and as organizations such as SAG-AFTRA share their commitment to fighting abuse, hopefully more survivors will feel secure enough to speak out. As Meghan Markle recently said in response to the current movements, "Women don't need to find a voice. They have a voice. They need to feel empowered to use it, and people need to be encouraged to listen."

(H/T: Vanity Fair)


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