Natalie Portman has her own #MeToo story. Speaking at yesterday’s Women’s March, the Oscar winner said that she experienced “sexual terrorism” when she was 13 years old and that the first fan letter she ever received was a “rape fantasy” from a man.
Portman came to attention at a young age, beginning with her role in “Léon: The Professional” and continuing with the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy. “A countdown was started on my local radio show to my 18th birthday — euphemistically the date that I would be legal to sleep with,” she said onstage yesterday. “Movie reviewers talked about my budding breasts in reviews. I understood very quickly, even as a 13-year-old, that if I were to express myself sexually I would feel unsafe and that men would feel entitled to discuss and objectify my body to my great discomfort.”
“At 13 years old, the message from our culture was clear to me. I felt the need to cover my body and to inhibit my expression and my work in order to send my own message to the world that I’m someone worthy of safety and respect,” she added. “The response to my expression, from small comments about my body to more threatening deliberate statements, served to control my behavior through an environment of sexual terrorism.”
Watch her full comments below.
Natalie Portman said experiencing “sexual terrorism” at the age of 13 made her feel the need to cover her body and inhibit expression while addressing thousands in LA gathered for the Women’s March https://t.co/LjDJxrz1DV pic.twitter.com/X9Ee9dZUBM
— CNN (@CNN) January 21, 2018