Ashley Graham made headlines in January when she told her #MeToo story on The View. Graham, who was 17 at the time, was modeling for a photoshoot when a photo assistant pulled her aside. “He lured me into this hallway, pushed me into a closet,” Graham said. “He exposed himself and he said, look at what you did to me all day long, now touch it.”
But that wasn’t the last time that Graham saw her harasser. In a interview with The New York Times, the 30-year-old model revealed that she came face-to-face with her harasser again after she walked on the set of a photoshoot and saw he was there. “Recently I actually worked with the guy that I had talked about that exposed himself to me on set,” Graham said. “And for me it was very strange because I was on television talking about my experience and I’m feeling brave, I’m feeling powerful, I’m feeling like other women need to hear this, and cut to maybe a month or two later, I walk on set and he looks me in the eye and says, ‘Hey, Ashley.’ And I quiver.”
Graham immediately texted her husband, Justin Ervin, who told her to confront her harasser. “I texted my husband and I told him this guy is on set and he said, “Say something.” I am what people say is a supermodel. I am what people say is an activist, someone who’s going to call out people. I thought to myself, ‘No, I can’t,'” Graham said.
After the shoot, Graham looked back on why she didn’t confront her harasser. She suggested that she didn’t know the answer and that she wouldn’t know what to do if she saw him for a third time. “Later, I thought, ‘Why didn’t I say anything? Why didn’t I go up to him? Why didn’t I just, like, you know, put my big girl panties on and say, ‘You did this to me, and that was disrespectful.'” Graham said. “But that is a very hard decision to make. I don’t know what I would do if I saw him again.”
Celebrities, including Padma Lakshmi and Lili Reinhart, have opened up about why they didn’t report their sexual harassers and assaulters, as a part of the #WhyIDidntReport movement following Supreme Court nominee Brent Kavanaugh’s sexual assault accusation.