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Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood has spoken out for the first time about being raped, in a powerful and unflinching email to Rolling Stone and later published to Twitter.

The actress – who came out as bisexual in 2011 – initially spoke to the magazine about her experiences of mental illness, a suicide attempt, and domestic violence, linking her experiences back to her bisexuality.

“It was always talked about like a phase or something stupid, or something you were doing for attention,” she said. “You know, bisexuality is worthy of eye rolls. And I didn’t realise how damaging that was until I tried to have healthy relationships as an adult and realised that there was still all this shame and conditioning and stigma around my sexuality that was really affecting the way I related to people. I think I was taken advantage of because someone knew there was something about me that they could exploit.”

She said her experience with abuse was “physical, psychological, sexual”; however, she clarified after the interview – and the day after the US election – that she was raped by a former partner.

She told the mag via email:

“So to answer your questions bluntly. Yes. I’ve been raped. By a significant other while we were together. And on a separate occasion, by the owner of a bar.

“The first time I was unsure if it was done by a partner it was still in fact rape, until too late. And also who would believe me.

“And the second time, I thought it was my fault and that I should have fought back more, but I was scared.”

As for why she’s speaking out now, Wood wrote that “I don’t believe we can live in a time where people can stay silent any longer. I certainly can’t. Not given the state our world is in with its blatant bigotry and sexism.”

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Wood says HBO‘s Westworld, in which she stars as damsel-in-frequent-distress Dolores Abernathy, is a reflection on today’s misogynistic culture.

Source: Getty / Frederick M. Brown.

If you haven’t been watching Westworld – and honestly, you absolutely should be – it’s an extremely violent show where rape isn’t just common, but considered a ‘fun’ activity by certain characters (a.k.a. the guests).

“The thing about Westworld is we don’t actually show any act of rape,” said Wood, when asked to comment on criticism of the show’s violence and if it’s hard to play a character who is abused and brutalised.

“It’s the initial knee-jerk reaction – which I totally get because it is a problem and valid. You know, I was affected by things being written off as locker-room talk – I had a very, very visceral reaction to it. But the show is definitely a commentary on that.”

Source: Rolling Stone.

Photo: HBO.