April 3, 2018.: This post has been updated to include a fourth accusation made against Westwick
A fourth woman has come forward with allegations against Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick. Us Weekly broke the news on March 29, reporting that a woman named Haley Freedman filed a police report with the LAPD claiming that the actor had raped her. The details of the allegations have not been made public but an unnamed source told Us Weekly that she has “evidence including personal medication information from her doctors to back up her claims against Ed Westwick.” Freedman will reportedly be meeting with the district attorney in the coming days.
The allegations against Westwick first began surfacing last year. In November, actor Kristina Cohen publicly accused Ed Westwick of rape in a detailed Facebook post. The following day, Cohen filed a police report with the LAPD’s Hollywood precinct, which is now reportedly opening an investigation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the police report states: “suspect forced victim to have sexual intercourse inside his residence… three years ago.”
A few days after Cohen came forward, two more women went public with accusations against the 30-year old British actor of sexual assault. In a detailed Facebook post on Nov. 8, actor Aurélie Wynn alleged that Westwick raped her at a house he was renting in L.A. in July 2014. Less than a week later, in an interview with BuzzFeed on Nov. 14, creative producer Rachel Eck says that Westwick repeatedly tried to kiss and grope her, without her consent.
Invited by her ex-boyfriend, film producer Kaine Harling, to the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, Eck arrived around 2:30 a.m. to find Harling and Westwick together. Westwick “asked me to invite a friend to hang out with the three of us,” she says, but her friends were asleep and subsequently not replying to her messages. “When I didn’t bring a girl for him he turned his sights on me.”
According to Eck, whenever Harling left the room that night, Westwick would “try to kiss me or kind of push me up against the wall.” Eck says that she “pushed off” Westwick each time, but that it continued to occur several times over a seven-hour period. Eck reportedly told Harling about Westwick’s behaviour, but Harling dismissed her, saying Westwick “didn’t mean it.”
Later, when Eck told Harling she was “definitely leaving,” Harling said Westwick wanted to apologize and brought her into a room with Westwick. “Ed then pulled me onto the bed and aggressively groped me,” she said. “I shoved him off as quickly as I could and left.”
Wynn tells a similar story in her Facebook post. She explains that she was ubered by Ed to a house he was renting. She describes a hangout with friends that stretched until 5 a.m. “We all decided to get a few hours of shut eye since we all had events and things to do the next day and there are plenty of bedrooms,” she writes. “And like Kristina, I said no and he pushed me face down and was powerless under his weight.”
Wynn, who was dating Glee actor Mark Salling at the time, said she told Salling what happened, but he blamed her and immediately broke up with her. “When he found out by who he pretended not to know him, then blamed me for it and broke it off with me,” she writes. (Early last month, Salling pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.) Wynn’s friends weren’t much help either. “My other friends and people around me told me it was best not say anything, to not be ‘that girl’ and that no one would believe me and think I was just out trying to get my 10 seconds of fame.”
Wynn also thanked Cohen for coming forward: “Without you I would not have had the strength to speak up publicly about my ordeal.”
Cohen’s Facebook post describes a similar gathering at the actor’s apartment three years ago, during which she fell asleep, then suddenly awoke to Westwick penetrating her.
In Cohen’s description of that night, she explains that someone she was dating at the time—a producer and friend of Westwick—brought her to Westwick’s house to hang out. After Westwick suggested “we should all f-ck,” Cohen decided she wanted to go, but her date didn’t want to make Westwick “feel awkward by leaving.” Westwick pressed for them to stay for dinner. Cohen then said she felt tired (another attempt to leave), and Westwick suggested she take a nap in the guest bedroom. Some time later Cohen says she awoke to Westwick on top of her. “I told him to stop, but he was strong. I fought him off as hard as I could but he grabbed my face in his hands, shaking me, telling me he wanted to f-ck me,” Cohen said. “I was paralyzed, terrified. I couldn’t speak, I could no longer move. He held me down and raped me.”
Cohen alleges that after she told her date what happened, the producer blamed her, telling her she was an “active participant.” Cohen says the producer also told her she couldn’t say anything if she wanted to maintain her reputation, “because Ed will have people come after me, destroy me, and that I could forget about an acting career. Saying there’s no way I can go around saying Ed ‘raped’ me and that I don’t want to be ‘that girl.'”
She concluded her post with the importance of showing solidarity to people coming forward right now. “I hope my coming forward will help others to know that they are not alone, that they are not to blame, and it is not their fault,” Cohen said. “Just as the other women and men coming forward have helped me to realize the same. I hope that my stories and the stories of others help to reset and realign the toxic environments and power imbalances that have created these monsters.”
On Nov. 7, Westwick posted a statement on Twitter.
On Nov. 9, Westwick posted a second statement to Instagram.
On Nov. 10, the BBC announced that it will postpone the debut of its Agatha Christie adaptation “until these matters are resolved.” The three-part series Ordeal by Innocence stars Westwick alongside Bill Nighy, Catherine Keener and Matthew Good, and it was set to debut on Christmas day. The series debut over Easter after being re-shot to replace Westwick with actor Christian Cooke. The BBC has also halted production on Westwick’s series White Gold, which shows on Netflix outside of the U.K.
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