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Natalie Portman speaks about being sexualised at 13

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Natalie Portman speaks about being sexualised at 13. Natalie Portman feared being objectified by men as a young teenager growing up in Hollywood and worried she would feel “unsafe” if she expressed herself “sexually”. She felt from the age of 13 that if she ever expressed herself “sexually” she would feel “unsafe”. The ‘Black Swan’ star – who made her movie debut aged just 12 in action movie ‘ Leon’ – joined fellow female actresses Eva Longoria, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Whoopi Goldberg and more, at the Women’s March in Los Angeles last Saturday (20.01.18), to oppose US President Donald Trump, and spoke candidly about how critics would comment on her “budding breasts”, and how she feared men “objectifying” her body from a young age. Speaking on a podium about her own experiences following the wave of sexual misconduct cases sparked following the disgracing of producer Harvey Weinstein, she shared: “A countdown was started on my local radio show to my 18th birthday, euphemistically the date that I would be legal to sleep with. Movie reviewers talked about my budding breasts in reviews. I understood very quickly, even as a 13-year-old, that if I were to express myself sexually I would feel unsafe and that men would feel entitled to discuss and objectify my body to my great discomfort.” Portman previously revealed she was once lured onto a private jet by a Hollywood producer hoping to sleep with her. The ‘Thor’ star said she felt “lucky” not to have been assaulted, after the spate of sexual harassment allegations that have emerged in the film industry. She recalled: “I was like, yeah, why wouldn’t I accept a flight on a private plane with a big group of people? And I showed up and it was just the two of us and then one bed was made on the plane.” But fortunately for the 36-year-old actress her wishes were respected by the unnamed producer. She continued: “Nothing happened. I was not assaulted. I said, ‘This doesn’t make me feel comfortable,’ and that was respected. That was super not OK. That was really unacceptable and manipulative. I was scared.” More than 50 women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault abuse and a string of other Hollywood stars have become the centre of allegations of taking advantage of their fame to harass others. Stars including Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman, Ashley Judd, Lupita Nyong’o, Heather Graham, Kate Beckinsale, Angelina Jolie and Cara Delevigne, all claim to have been the target of unwanted advances. Portman commented: “I think my first reaction when I heard everybody coming out was, ‘Wow, I’m so lucky that I haven’t had this.’ And then, on reflection, I was like, ‘OK, I definitely have never been assaulted. But I’ve had discrimination or harassment on almost everything I’ve ever worked on in some way. I went from thinking I don’t have a story to, ‘Oh wait, I have 100 stories.’ I think a lot of people are having these reckonings with ourselves of things we just took as part of the process.” The ‘Jackie’ star believes the Weinstein scandal will change Hollywood forever and for the better. She said: “There are so many things that we took for granted as part of our world. A lot of things that we just kind of put up with for reasons of maybe just being numb to it. But if you spent all your time reporting what was going on, that’s all you would do as it’s so pervasive. And yeah, it gets so built into the power struggles in every industry.”

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