“Jane the Virgin” star Justin Baldoni is the latest celebrity to speak out about sexual harassment, admitting he experienced it himself during the early years of his career.
The 33-year-old, who is developing a weekly talk show titled “Man Enough”, which explores and challenges the idea of “what it means to be a man today,” praised the numerous victims of sexual assault who have come forward since the Harvey Weinstein scandal came to light.
Admitting he, too, has been a victim of sexual misconduct, Baldoni told Glamour magazine: “When I was 21 or so, I was very new in the business. A girlfriend at the time had gotten me a spa certificate. I remember there were hot tubs and steam rooms and all kinds of stuff, and it’s kind of fancier people, wealthier guys. I went and jumped in the hot tub and I saw a guy kind of look over.
“I saw him look over at me, jump out of the other hot tub, and jump in with me, and he said, ‘Oh what do you do?’ And I said, ‘Oh I’m an actor,’ and he explained, ‘Oh I’m a producer,’ and he started talking about all of the movies he’s done and all the people he knows. He’s friends with Clooney, Cheadle, and this person and this person, and he slowly started to try to get me to take off my pants because I had my bathing suit on and he was naked.”
Not ending the conversation there, Baldoni admitted he’s also experienced harassment from women of power, not just men.
He explained, “I’ve had my ass grabbed multiple times by powerful women.”
However, Baldoni did add, “I guarantee at some point in my life there is a woman or two that I in some way made uncomfortable by saying something or doing something that was chauvinistic or sexist….and all I can do is say, ‘I’m sorry, I was naive, I was young, I screwed up, and I’ll try to do better.’”
The actor recently gave a talk at a TEDWomen event, where he spoke about the issues with masculinity in today’s society.
He told Marie Claire, “I was the best friend that you could tell your deepest, darkest secrets to and I would be there for you.
“But the guys who were saying bad things about the women—the guys that wouldn’t treat them well—were the ones that always got the girls that I liked. I just was like, ‘What’s wrong with this system?’ There’s something broken here.”