Rachel Zegler is over having to speak on someone else’s actions — especially when the situation doesn’t involve her at all.
The actress recently sat down with Elle, where she discussed the “inherent discomfort” that came along with being asked about her West Side Story costar Ansel Elgort‘s sexual assault allegations during press days.
“It was a real gut punch, honestly,” she told the publication of being asked to answer for her male coworker. “I reverted back to this brain space I was in [back in] June of 2020, when the accusation surfaced. We were in the middle of the first wave of lockdown, and there was nothing to do but doom-scroll. Those days were some of the worst mental health days I’ve ever had.
“I was sitting there having just turned 19, on the precipice of what was promised to be the biggest moment in my life, and was being held accountable [by the public] for accusations that not only had nothing to do with me but were made about a situation that was said to have occurred [five] years prior to when I had met and worked with this person,” she continued. “With no thought to the fact that I was also 17 when I met this person, 17 when I worked with them, 17 and 18 when I had to do love scenes.”
The incident Zegler is referring to happened in 2020, when a woman accused Elgort of sexually assaulting her back in 2014, when she was 17 years old and he was 20. Elgort since denied the allegations in a deleted Instagram post, claiming he had a “brief, legal, and entirely consensual relationship” and he “would never assault anyone.”
“[There is] inherent discomfort that comes with that realization that there are tons of people who think that you have to answer for the actions of an adult male who can speak for himself,” Zegler said of the situation. “It is so wildly disappointing at every turn, no matter how you slice it. No matter how many times I’ve tried to justify people’s concern when it comes to me in my brain, but then realizing that it comes from a place of me having to answer for that, and not them actually caring about whether or not I was okay, was really hurtful.”
“I really don’t have anything to do with this conversation, and I’m looking forward to moving past it,” she concluded.
Read the full interview here.