Lili Reinhart Admitted Opening Up About Her Past Trauma Wasn’t the End of Her Struggle

Lili Reinhart has not only made her mark on the small screen as Betty Cooper in the hit show Riverdale, but at just 23 is already making quite a name for herself on the big screen as well with her roles in films such as Hustlers alongside Jennifer Lopez.

Reinhart is quite open about herself and her personal struggles on social media and in interviews, and though she has helped and inspired others in the process, she admits sometimes it’s not always the best move for her.

Lili Reinhart opened up about experiencing abuse in Hollywood

Lili Reinhart on the red carpet
Lili Reinhart | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

In 2017, during the wave of #MeToo blowing up and the survivors of Harvey Weinstein speaking out, Reinhart felt inspired to share her own story. She penned it on her own Tumblr blog about five years after the assault, which occurred when she was just 16.

“I feel the need to share a story of my own personal experience where a man in a position of power over me, used that said power to try and take advantage of me,” she wrote.

She went on to describe an unfortunately common story. She was young and impressionable and developed a crush on a much older co-worker while working on a project. She never gives a name or necessarily specifies if he’s an actor, only that his role in the project was much bigger than hers.

The two went on a date and he forced himself on her. She was able to escape the situation but with no car or money, was dependent on him for a ride home. During the trip, he again tried to take advantage of his power and began to drive towards his own home instead.

She noticed and protested again and did get home safely, eventually, but that situation could have ended much worse, as it has for many others.

After that night, she was left mystified and tried to discuss the events with him later. He took no responsibility for his actions and gaslit her. She says he told her she was a “tease” and “the most manipulative woman he’d ever met.”  

Lili Reinhart thinks she shared her own abuse story too soon

Reinhart was Allure’s cover story for March, and in the interview, she gave more details on the abuse incident: “I felt physically pinned down to the ground while someone dry humped me, basically.”

She went on to express that she didn’t really understand the story when she shared it: “I kept thinking of it as something physical, but it was more so a psychological abuse… that spanned a couple of months. I went along with it and was trying to get his approval because we were working together… I wanted my work environment to be easy.”

At the time this all happened, she was scared to speak up because she didn’t want to be labeled as a diva or drama queen, or risk holding up the project for the dozens of people working on it. This fear wasn’t unfounded, and is an all-too-common result of such allegations.

Lili Reinhart is a fierce supporter of women’s rights

Far from just focusing on her own experiences, Reinhart sheds a light on other issues around her as well and regularly supports other women that come under attack.

She sang high praises for Melissa Benoit of Glee and Supergirl sharing her story of domestic abuse saying: “I think she helped a lot of people by doing that. When people come forward about a sexual abuse experience or physical abuse or them struggling with a disorder, they’re encouraging other people to not suffer in silence.”

Reinhart also speaks frequently about mental health issues and bullying, and believes schools should do more to educate and communicate with students on these topics.

In her Allure interview, the topic of equal pay for women came up as an issue in her life as well. She said she was inspired by the likes of Michelle Williams and Taraji P. Henson and that she’s learned: “I’m not going to accept less than what I think I’m worth. And it’s okay to fight for what I’m worth.”