Rachel Zegler has spoken out against people who tried to make her answer for allegations of sexual assault leveled against her West Side Story costar Ansel Elgort.
In a profile for ELLE that was published on Tuesday, the 20-year-old actress said it was ‘hurtful’ for people to ask her about the subject, particularly since the alleged assault would have happened before she even filmed West Side Story.
The allegations date from June 2020, when a Twitter user identifying themself as Gabby claimed that she was sexually assaulted by the Tokyo Vice star, 28, when were only 17, though he denied the allegations.
Speaking out: Rachel Zegler, 20, said it was ‘hurtful’ and ‘wildly disappointing’ that she was repeatedly asked to speak about sexual assault allegations against her West Side Story costar Ansel Elgort in a new ELLE profile; seen March 27
Representatives for Elgort didn’t immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Zegler said that repeatedly being asked about Elgort reminded her of when she was in a more negative mental state at the height of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, when the accusations were first reported.
‘I reverted back to this brain space I was in [back in] June of 2020, when the accusation surfaced,’ she said.
‘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,’ she continued.
‘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 added that some people piled on her despite her being a minor throughout much of the production, and as young as the person who had accused Elgort.
Bad place: Zegler said the questions reminded her of her negative mental state when the new first broke at the height of the pandemic. She also complained that she was only 17 — like the alleged victim — when she shot the film; still from West Side Story
Calling him out: A Twitter user calling herself Gabby claimed in June 2020 that Elgort had sexually assaulted her when she was only 17; seen in December in LA
‘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,’ she said.
‘I really don’t have anything to do with this conversation, and I’m looking forward to moving past it.’
The actress, who will next be seen in Shazam! Fury Of The Gods, said it was ‘wildly disappointing’ and ‘hurtful’ that people thought she should be held responsible for Elgort’s alleged crimes.
‘[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. It is so wildly disappointing at every turn, no matter how you slice it,’ she said. ‘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.’
Zegler also highlighted how other actresses in West Side Story were asked to comment on the allegations against Elgort without any concern for their own history with sexual violence.
Not involved: Zegler said she had ‘nothing to do’ with Elgort’s alleged crimes, and she blasted inquisitors for ignoring her costars’ own experiences with sexual assault; seen April 3 in Las Vegas
‘And also paying no mind when it came to the conversation between myself and these other incredible women in my cast, without any thought process to our experiences as women in the industry who constantly find ourselves in close encounters with men in power, and a very iconic woman in Hollywood who has spoken about her experience with sexual assault,’ she continued, seemingly referring to Rita Moreno.
The legendary screen star — who won an Oscar for the 1961 adaptation of West Side Story and also appeared in Spielberg’s version — had previously claimed she was raped by her agent when she was only 16 or 17.
Speaking of the person who accused Elgort, Zegler said she could never know what she ‘had to go through.’
‘In the grand scheme of things with this woman who has come forward with these allegations, I cannot imagine what she had to go through. If I’m sitting here thinking that those days were traumatizing for me, I don’t pretend to know. I could never know.’
Charges: Gabby claimed that Elgort refused to stop having sex with her when she was in pain and allegedly said ‘We need to break you in’; seen with Zegler in December in LA
In June of 2020, the twitter user @Itsgabby shared her ‘story of Ansel Elgort,’ claiming she was ‘sexually assaulted a couple days after I turned 17.’
She wrote that she had DMed the rising Hollywood star when she was ‘just a kid and was a fan of him,’ though she didn’t expect a reply.
The user claimed that Elgort had had sex with her when she was a minor and hadn’t stopped after she was clearly in pain.
‘So when it happened instead of asking me if I wanted to stop having sex knowing it was my first time and I was sobbing in pain and I didn’t want to do it the only words that came out of his mouth were “we need to break you in,”‘ she wrote. ‘I WASN’T there in that moment mentally. I disassociated myself and just felt like my mind was gone I was in shock.’
She also posted DMs that appeared to be from the actor that were dated to 2014, as well as a photo that was purportedly of her with Elgort, though her face was partially blocked out by her hand.
Evidence: Gabby also posted DMs that appeared to be from the actor that were dated to 2014, as well as a photo that was purportedly of her with Elgort; still from West Side Story
The user added that she was too small to have fought Elgort off.
‘He made me think this is how sex was supposed to be. I WAS SO YOUNG AND HE KNEW THAT,’ she continued. ‘He as well said stuff like “you’re going to be such a beautiful young lady when you’re older.” I was f***ing 17.’
Later in the thread, she claimed that the Carrie actor had asked her for nude photos and had even suggested a threesome with one of her friends.
Gabby, who claimed to suffer from PTSD following the alleged assault, said that Elgort told her not to speak of their relationship because it could ‘ruin his career.’
He denied the accusations in an Instagram post shared days after the accusations, though he later deleted it and all other posts from his account.
‘I cannot claim to understand Gabby’s feelings but her description of events is simply not what happened,’ he wrote, before alleging that ‘Gabby and I had a brief, legal and entirely consensual relationship.’
However, he apologized for the manner in which he broke up with Gabby.
‘As I look back at my attitude, I am disgusted and deeply ashamed of the way I acted,’ he wrote.
Elgort has recently been featured on the small screen, as he stars in the HBO Max crime thriller Tokyo Vice.
Still working: Elgort has recently been featured on the small screen, as he stars in the HBO Max crime thriller Tokyo Vice (pictured)