Rachel Zegler addresses sexual assault allegation made against West Side Story co-star Ansel Elgort
Rachel Zegler has broken her silence on the sexual assault allegation made against her West Side Story co-star Ansel Elgort.
Zegler plays Maria opposite Elgort’s Tony in the Steven Spielberg directed remake of the original 1961 musical, which is expected to be a big contender at this year’s Oscars.
The allegation against Elgort – which he has denied – was made after they had finished filming, with Zegler noting: “We made a movie two and a half years ago, and a lot has gone on in the world since then.
“A lot has changed very publicly, and privately as well. There’s been a lot of awakening. You just hope that the people involved are okay, that they are asked in a respectful manner, and that they are given the opportunity to answer for themselves,” she added to the Hollywood Reporter.
West Side Story actors Rita Moreno and Ariana DeBose, who were interviewed along with Zegler, also weighed in.
“I think it would have been absolutely horrendous and wrong for anyone to take sides in that matter. It’s not for me to make those judgments,” said Moreno.
“Nobody really knows what’s going on in anyone’s head. Only the people who were involved in that situation know what actually went down,” added DeBose.
Last June, Elgort was accused of sexual assault by a woman named Gabby, who alleged that the actor took advantage of her when she was 17 and he was 20.
She also alleged on social media that Elgort had attempted to solicit naked photos from her and asked to have a threesome.
In response, Elgort issued a statement where he said: “I have never and would never assault anyone,” but admitted that he did have a “brief, legal, and entirely consensual relationship” with Gabby.
“Unfortunately, I did not handle the break-up well,” the statement continued.
“I stopped responding to her, which is an immature and cruel thing to do to someone. I know this belated apology does not absolve me of my unacceptable behaviour when I disappeared.
“As I look back at my attitude, I am disgusted and deeply ashamed of the way I acted. I am truly sorry. I know I must continue to reflect, learn, and work to grow in empathy,” it concluded.
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