Ashley Graham was sexually harassed on the set of a photoshoot when she was 17 years old.
The model revealed she was pulled into a closet by a photo assistant while they were working on a campaign shoot and he exposed himself, and the incident has made her more determined to be in control on modelling jobs.
“He was like, ‘Hey, come here,’ and he led me into a closet. And I was like, ‘What?’ I thought he was going to show me something,” she told America’s Glamour magazine. “And he pulled me in, and he pulled his penis out. And he was like, ‘Grab it.’ And I was like, ‘No! That’s disgusting.’ I freaked out. And thank God I was closer to the door, and I just bolted out.”
The 29-year-old recalled to her writer pal Lauren Chan that she has seen the assistant on other jobs since that encounter and even knew a girl he dated, but she didn’t tell his partner because she thought he might have changed.
She now makes sure she’s never put in a position where she’s manipulated on shoots and insists that every image that is published is one she approves of – including nude pictures, which she has no issue with, within limits.
“My thing is: If it’s vulgar, and it’s, like, me grabbing my breasts and showing nipple, I’m not going to do it,” she shared. “When I said, ‘I don’t do nip and bush,’ I didn’t feel like I had to be specific as to what kind. So, you might even see more nipple coming up. But trust me: You will never see my vagina!”
This isn’t the first time Ashley has opened up about sexual abuse – in her memoir A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like she revealed an 18-year-old friend of the family forced her to touch his penis while they were drying off after swimming when she was ten years old.
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