Ashley Graham recently revealed that she was sexually harassed on a modeling set when she was just 17 years old.
The model recently sat down with Glamour for the magazine’s July issue to discuss her rise to fame as a plus-size supermodel and her passion for body-positive activism. During the interview, the 29-year-old opened up about a disturbing experience when she was a young model on set.
“There was an incident on set of a campaign job when I was 17 years old ― I haven’t told this story ― and there was a photo assistant who was into me,” Graham told the magazine. “He was like, ‘Hey, come here,’ and he led me into a closet. And I was like, ‘What?’ I thought he was going to show me something. And he pulled me in, and he pulled his penis out. And he was like, ‘Grab it.’ And I was like, ‘No! That’s disgusting.’ I freaked out. And thank God I was closer to the door, and I just bolted out.”
Graham said she never told anyone about the incident because she had hoped the man had changed. Now, however, she uses the experience as a reminder to herself to always be in control of her work and her workspace.
“I’ve seen him at jobs since. I even knew a girl he dated,” she said. “I didn’t tell her because there was a voice in me that said, ‘Maybe he’s changed.’ It was my young mentality. But I told myself, ever since that incident, that I wasn’t going to allow someone at work to manipulate what I wanted to do on set. So any image that you see out there is one that I wanted to take.”