Lucy Hale Opens Up About #MeToo Movement After Suggesting She Was Sexually Assaulted

Lucy Hale Opens Up About #MeToo Movement After Suggesting She Was Sexually Assaulted
Photo: Getty Images

Update: January 23, 2018 at 10:45 a.m.

A week after suggesting she was sexually assaulted in a now-deleted Instagram, Lucy Hale is opening about the #MeToo movement and her experience with sexual misconduct. The 28-year-old actress spoke to Us Weekly about how she never fully understood what sexual harassment felt like until she experienced it herself—something she alluded to in her Instagram.

“To keep it somewhat vague, I think along with a lot of other people we’ve all had our experiences like that and until it’s happened to you, you kind of don’t really understand how it can affect you and everyone around you,” Hale said.

Hale also opened about feeling empowered by hearing other women’s stories about sexual harassment. “I just feel very honored to be around a lot of powerful women that are speaking up about it and I think that’s where the change starts is when people start talking because you never know who’s listening or whose life you can impact,” Hale said. “You know, you see the change happening it’s really an exciting time even though it started from dark times for people, I think the pay off will be extraordinary.”

In an interview with People, Hale echoed the same sentiments, while pointing out that men, as well as women, experience sexual harassment and sexual assault. She applauded victims for speaking out.

“I feel grateful to have people that I look up to that are speaking up about things,” Hale said. “Not just women—I think men have sometimes suffered the same way that women have. And as long as a conversation is going or a conversation has started, which it has, that’s the best thing you could ever ask for because that makes people feel not alone. I think if powerful people can make a difference by speaking up, which they are, that will trickle down hopefully.”

Original story: January 19, 2018 at 9:45 a.m.

Lucy Hale shared an emotional message on her social media on Thursday leading fans to believe that she was sexually assaulted. The 28-year-old actress posted a cryptic screenshot on her Instagram and Twitter on how she never fully understood the “pain” of sexual assault until last night.

The post, which has since been deleted, detailed how “Pretty Little Liars” actress experienced an unnamed event on Thursday night that led her to understand and empathize with sexual assault victims. “I never understood sexual assault until tonight. I always sympathized, but never felt the pain of it until right now,” Hale wrote. “My dignity and pride was broken. I am completely at a loss of words.”

Hale ended her message with a nod to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements with a vow on how she “will not let a moment go by” without trying “to make a difference.” “I feel for anyone that has felt this pain that I feel right now,” she wrote. “But I promise. I will not let a moment go by that I don’t try to make a difference.”

MORE: Ashley Graham Opens up About Sexual Harassment Experience

Lucy Hale

Photo: Instagram

MORE: How and When to Call out Sexual Harassment If It Happens to You

Though Hale didn’t reveal any details about what happened to her on Thursday night, she received an outpouring of support from fans who consoled her and expressed their sympathy. “My heart has just broken… You don’t deserve this. Thank you for being brave enough to speak up, you’re strong!” one fan wrote. We’re with these fans and stand with Hale during this trying time.