This is the reason why Megan Fox is keeping her #MeToo stories private
When the #MeToo movement burst onto the scene back in October 2017, hundreds of famous women jumped at the chance to finally be able to share their stories. However, there was at least one actress who kept schtum: Megan Fox.
Now, the 32-year-old has opened up about why she didn't publicly speak out on her experiences with sexual harassment and assault - and why she still won't be sharing them anytime soon.
In a revealing interview with the New York Times, the Jennifer's Body star admitted that she felt excluded from the movement due to the reaction to previous stories she had told, as well as her image as a sex symbol.
Stating that she was "ahead of her time", the mother-of-three said: "My words were taken and used against me in a way that was -- at that time in my life, at that age and dealing with that level of fame -- really painful. I don’t want to say this about myself, but let’s say that I was ahead of my time and so people weren’t able to understand. Instead, I was rejected because of qualities that are now being praised in other women coming forward."
She continued: "And, because of my experience, I feel it’s likely that I will always be just out of the collective understanding. I don’t know if there will ever be a time where I’m considered normal or relatable or likable."
In addition, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 actress acknowledged that she had plenty of personal accounts of sexual harassment, but claimed she would not be coming forward with them due to fear that she wouldn't be a "sympathetic victim".
"One could assume that I probably have quite a few stories, and I do -- I didn’t speak out for many reasons," she said. "I just didn’t think based on how I’d been received by people, and by feminists, that I would be a sympathetic victim. And, I thought if ever there were a time where the world would agree that it’s appropriate to victim-shame someone, it would be when I come forward with my story."
Fox, who shares three children with her 45-year-old actor husband, Brian Austin Green, also opened up about the idea of punishment when asked if she wished to share any stories now.
"I also feel like I’m not the universal hammer of justice," she claimed. "This is not to say that other people shouldn’t do what they feel is right. But in my circumstance, I don’t feel it’s my job to punish someone because they did something bad to me."
In the past, the actress has shared what it's like to be considered a sex symbol in Hollywood, calling out several incidents of sexist behaviour. Ten years ago, she revealed that on the set of Transformers, director Michael Bay had consistently told her to "be hot" when she asked for direction.
"'Mike,' I’ll say, 'Who am I talking to? Where am I supposed to be looking at?' And he responds, 'Just be sexy.' I get mad when people talk to me like that," she said.
In addition, she has revealed that she was made to dance underneath a waterfall by Bay when she was just 15 years old.
"The first time I ever met him, I was 15 and I was an extra on Bad Boys II," she told Jimmy Kimmel. "We were shooting this club scene, and they brought me in, and I was wearing a stars and stripes bikini and a red cowboy hat, and six-inch heels. And they took me to Mike and he approved it.
"And they said, ‘You know, Michael, she’s 15, so you can’t sit her at the bar and she can’t have a drink in her hand.’ So his solution to that problem was to then have me dancing underneath a waterfall getting soaking wet. And that’s… At 15. I was in 10th grade. So that’s sort of a microcosm of how Bay’s mind works."
Although Megan has decided to keep most of her stories to herself this time, we can all agree that her new interview is a wake-up call to people who believe we've progressed beyond victim-blaming after #MeToo.