CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual harassment and assault.

Icon of Hollywood‘s Golden era Tippi Hedren has commented on the Harvey Weinstein allegations, applauding women for at last coming forward with stories of his predatory behaviour, harassment, and sexual assault.

The actress is sadly no stranger to Hollywood power players abusing women. In her 2016 memoir, she described how famed directer Alfred Hitchcock emotionally abused and sexually assaulted her on the set of The Birds, later threatening to ruin her career if she did not accept his physical advances. She also wrote that she suspected she was forced to work with live birds, rather than mechanical ones, as punishment for rejecting him.

“Studios were the power,” she said in 2012, when first opening up about the abuse. “And I was at the end of that, and there was absolutely nothing I could do legally whatsoever. There were no laws about this kind of situation. If this had happened today, I would be a very rich woman.”

The now 87-year-old actress released a statement in the wake of the Weinstein allegations.

“I’m watching all the coverage on Weinstein,” she wrote. “This is nothing new, nor is it limited to the entertainment industry. I dealt with sexual harassment all the time, during my modelling and film career. Hitchcock wasn’t the first. However, I wasn’t going to take it anymore, so I simply walked away and didn’t look back. Hitch said he would ruin my career and I told him to do what he had to do. It has taken fifty years, but it is about time that women started standing up for themselves as they appear to be doing in the Weinstein case. Good for them!”

Hedren has been applauded for her statement, including from Rose McGowan, who earlier today broke a two decade silence and explicitly named Weinstein her rapist.

It’s devastating that women like Hedren were powerless to stand up to this behaviour – and that so many women felt powerless to stand up to Weinstein – but now Hollywood, and other industries, are taking a long hard look into its grimiest corners.

If you would like to speak to a counsellor about sexual harassment or assault, call the people over at 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for 24/7 support.

Image: Getty Images / Keystone