CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses rape and sexual assault.
After three women accused Gossip Girl actor Ed Westwick of sexual assault in three separate incidents from 2014, his former co-star Jessica Szohr has spoken out, saying she finds the accusations “shocking”.
During an interview with US Cosmopolitan, the talk turned to the allegations against 30-year-old Westwick, who Szohr dated briefly during the filming of Gossip Girl.
And at a moment when Szohr perhaps shouldn’t have weighed in because she’s not directly involved in the situation, she did.
It’s a difficult subject right now for anyone that’s involved on either side … I don’t even really know how to answer it, if I should, because I don’t want anything to get twisted, because I have known Ed for years and know how lovely he is, and don’t think he would ever put someone in a position like that.
To be fair to Szohr, the interview was supposed to be for her TV show Shameless and became all about her former co-worker who is now accused of sex crimes, and she was clearly caught off guard as she weighed in on the claims from Kristina Cohen, Aurelie Wynn and Rachel Eck.
I’m really trying to answer this as open and nicely as I can, because it is touchy, and I obviously for any of these situations, wasn’t there, for either side, so I can’t say it did or didn’t happen. But I know him well and I’ve known him for years, and I found it shocking. And I hope that it’s untrue, but I also feel bad for anyone that’s been in that situation, for the women that have to deal with that, for the situations that are true.
Szohr, 32, says she has spoken to Westwick since the three women came forward, and that he’s “having a difficult time”. “He’s being accused of something that he’s publicly saying he didn’t do. So it’s, you know, tough on him.”
The journalist then just goes straight in and asks Szohr: “Are you saying that you don’t believe the allegations?”, to which she replies:
I mean, from the person I know, I find it shocking, because I can’t see him doing that to someone. And it’s a tough thing because I wasn’t there for those situations and I don’t know. But if you’re asking me “Do I think he would do that to someone?” No, I don’t. But was I there? No. I’m so sorry, I’m trying to answer it in a way — this could get very sticky if this gets printed and my words get twisted, it’s not gonna be great.
You can read all of the pretty bloody awkward interview HERE.
The LAPD is currently investigating Westwick over Cohen’s claim that he raped her at his apartment in 2014, while Wynn and Eck have not pursued legal action. He has denied the accusations levelled at him.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault or harassment, please get in touch with 1800 RESPECT.Image: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison