The actress says her remarks in a recent interview were related to ‘a handful of false testimonies out of a tsunami of heroic voices.’
Lindsay Lohan got a clue.
The former child star apologized Sunday for her recent remarks that appeared to suggest that women who spoke out as part of #MeToo — the global movement that has spurred institutional change across a number of industries — “look weak.”
“I would like to unreservedly apologize for any hurt and distress caused by a quote in a recent interview with The Times,” Lohan told People magazine in a statement. “The quote solely related to my hope that a handful of false testimonies out of a tsunami of heroic voices do not serve to dilute the importance of the #MeToo movement, and all of us who champion it. However, I have since learned how statements like mine are seen as hurtful, which was never my intent. I’m sorry for any pain I may have caused.
“I feel very strongly about the #MeToo movement and have the utmost respect and admiration for the women brave enough to come forward and speak out about their experiences,” she added. “Their testimony has served to protect those who can’t speak, and give strength to those who have struggled to have their voices heard.”
Lohan, 32, had previously told U.K. paper The Times that she hadn’t experienced sexual misconduct over her two-decade movie career. “So, I don’t really have anything to say. I can’t speak on something I didn’t live, right?” she said. “Look, I am very supportive of women. Everyone goes through their own experiences in their own ways.”
But Lohan added that she dislikes “attention-seekers,” and, as the paper described, “trial by social media.” “If it happens at that moment, you discuss it at that moment,” Lohan said. “You make it a real thing by making it a police report. I’m going to really hate myself for saying this, but I think by women speaking against all these things, it makes them look weak when they are very strong women. You have these girls who come out, who don’t even know who they are, who do it for the attention. That is taking away from the fact that it happened.”
Lohan’s remarks drew widespread disdain on social media. “. @lindsaylohan is canceled. Forever,” tweeted talk-show host Aisha Tyler. “This is disappointing @lindsaylohan,” added conservative columnist S.E. Cupp.
Victims of sexual harassment and assault often risk stigma, retaliation, their reputations and their careers in coming forward against perpetrators. Three in four workers who spoke out against mistreatment faced retaliation in some form, according to a 2003 report cited by the EEOC. False reports of sexual assault, meanwhile, are relatively rare.
And the results of women speaking out speak for themselves: More than 400 high-profile executives and employees have been accused of sexual misconduct in the past year and a half, according to Bloomberg; 193 have left or been fired, while 122 are on leave, facing investigations or suspended. #MeToo has also forced employers to reevaluate their protocols related to workplace harassment and even inspired legislation on sexual harassment.
Lohan expressed similar ideas in a June interview with the New York Times, telling the paper she viewed her optioning of the psychological thriller “The Honeymoon” as a catharsis for a caught-on-camera 2016 physical altercation with her ex-fiancé, Egor Tarabasov. “There was this moment where it was like, ‘I don’t really need to be worried about a guy hurting me, I don’t need to live in fear,’” she said. “Because when women show fear, I feel like that makes us powerless.”
The “Parent Trap” star last fall also mounted a controversial defense of Harvey Weinstein, who stands accused of sexual harassment or assault by dozens of women. “He’s never harmed me or did anything to me; we’ve done several movies together,” Lohan said on Instagram Stories. “I think everyone needs to stop — I think it’s wrong. So stand up.”
Amid outrage over those comments, Lohan later released a statement to the Daily Mail. “I am saddened to hear about the allegations against my former colleague Harvey Weinstein. As someone who has lived their life in the public eye, I feel that allegations should always be made to the authorities and not played out in the media,” she said. “I encourage all women who believe Harvey harmed them to report their experiences to the relevant authorities.”
This article was originally published Aug. 9, 2018, and has been updated.
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