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‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Star Karla Souza Reveals She Was Raped by a Director on Mexico Film Shoot

Souza was brought to tears during a CNN interview in which she remembered her own personal experience with sexual assault

Karla Souza

Karla Souza

Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Karla Souza, best known for her role as Laurel Castillo on ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder,” revealed to CNN en Español that she was raped earlier in her career by a director. The actress did not name the filmmaker, but she said the sexual assault occurred during a film shoot on location in Mexico. Souza and the director were staying at a hotel separate from the cast and crew during the production.

“He knocked at my door saying he wanted to go over some scenes and I thought it’s 2 a.m., it’s not appropriate and it’s something that shouldn’t be happening,” Souza said.

The actress refused to open the door despite the director’s insistent knocking. Souza said the director penalized her for the decision by “not shooting” her scene in the film and “humiliating” her in front of others on the set.

“This was the psychological control that he held over me,” she said about the director’s behavior. After a month of being the victim of the director’s “total abuse of power,” Souza felt she had no choice but to “give in” to his physical demands.

“I ended up giving in to him,” Souza said. “[I let him] kiss me, to touch me in ways I did not want him to touch me and in one of those instances, he attacked me violently and yes, he raped me.”

Souza was brought to tears during the CNN interview. The actress has been a lead cast member on “How to Get Away With Murder” for three seasons.

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