Constance Wu reveals in her new book that she was sexually assaulted in her20s.
In an excerpt of Making a Scene published by Vanity Fair , the FreshOff the Boat actress, 40, opens up about the encounter with an “aspiringnovelist” named Ty on their second date 20 years ago.
In the book, out Oct. 4, Wu wrote that she had a wonderful first date with Ty,a New Yorker in his mid-30s, who appeared to be a gentleman and with whom sheshared sparks. On their second date, they had dinner and he invited her up tohis apartment after to give her something he had written for her. They kissedand it led to more, but when he went to get a condom — “an obvious signal forsex, which I did not want” — she stated more than once that she was “notready to have sex” with him.
“But he merely smiled, as if he knew better … than the words coming out of mymouth,” she wrote. “Hey…did it anyway.”
Wu wrote that she “didn’t fight back. I just … gave up” as it happened. Shetold herself that, “Cool girls didn’t freak out. Plus … he wasn’t violent. Hejust didn’t listen to me.” Plus, “if I fought him there was a risk that hecould become angry or violent. Could I really fight someone twice my size anda decade older than me? In his apartment?” Plus, “I was already soembarrassed… I didn’t want to make a scene.”
She recalled that she “wasn’t even upset” when she left. “I just felt … weird.Maybe because there had been no physical force… I didn’t feel attacked orassaulted or coerced and I certainly didn’t feel raped. _He just didn ‘tlisten to me_I thought.”
Wu buried the story deep below the surface long before she became a TV star,which gave her “a front-row seat to Hollywood’s latent sexism and misogyny.”Her fame from Fresh Off the Boat “gave me a public platform, I used it toadvocate for equality, pointing out systemic gender biases, and calling forpublic acknowledgment of and ending to rape culture… All the while thinkinghow fortunate it was that I had never been raped.”
It changed one day on a plane from Singapore after filming 2018’s hit CrazyRich Asians.
“I’d just woken up from a nap when the realization hit me like a flood,” shewrote. “Ty raped me. He raped me, and I hadn’t done anything about it.”
She had a hard time referring to it as “rape” initially (“I couldn’t even saythe become “), _but was able to process it with her therapist. “She said it_used to be rape and that the lack of violence didn’t change that,” sherecalled.
Wu spent a lot of time wondering why it took 10 years to surface that she wassexually assaulted. She now knows, “I did not consent to sex. Maybe it wasn’tviolent, but it was rape. Period.”
The excerpt ended with her writing, “Some people might say that I should havefought back against Ty. But if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change howI reacted that night. Because when I think about the girl I was back then, Iunderstand what she was going through. She wasn’t yet ready to bear theinsults and derision that follow when women make scenes. I wouldn’t make herdo something before she was ready.”
Wu has been making headlines about the last few months for her candidrevelations. Just last week, she said she was sexually harassed during herearly years on Fresh Off the Boat which aired from 2015 to 2020. She playedJessica Huang, the mother in a Taiwanese-American family living in Orlando,Fla., on the hit sitcom set in the late-’90s.
She told the ___New York Times_ an __ unidentified “senior member of theproduction team … controlled her,” including “demanding that she run all herbusiness matters past him and telling her what to wear” during her first yearon the show. She also claimed the man had once put his hand on her thigh andgrazed her crotch. By Season 2, she felt empowered to say no to the man. Sheand her alleged harasser stopped speaking completely after she refused toattend a film festival with him.
” Fresh Off the Boat was my first-ever TV show,” Wu told the outlet. “I wasthrown into this world. I don’t have parents in the industry. And because Iwas 30, people thought I knew what I was doing. It made me paranoid andembarrassed.”
Wu said that harassment was behind her tweeting in 2019 that she was ready for_Fresh Off the Boat_ to end. Her tweets prompted backlash and she apologizesfor being “dramatic.” However, off-line, she felt like a disgrace to the AsianAmerican community for seeming ungrateful for her job, leading to herattempting suicide. She publicly shared about the attempted suicide in July ofthis year when she returned to social media for the first time in three years.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, help is available.RAINN ‘s National Sexual Assault Hotline is here for survivors 24/7 with free,anonymous help. 800.656.HOPE (4673) and online.rainn.org ** .**