This Supermodel Just Revealed She Was Sexually Harassed At Age 17

Ford Springer | Contributor

Ashley Graham was once sexually harassed on the set of one of her modeling campaigns and the incident had a lasting effect on the kind of work she chooses to do.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model opened up about the incident for the first time in an interview for the upcoming July issue of Glamour magazine.

Ashley Graham

(Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)

“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 Glamour. “He was like, ‘Hey, come here,’ and he led me into a closet. And I was like, ‘What?’ I though 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,” she said.

Graham said that she’s encountered the guy again during her career, but never told anyone about what happened. However, the incident permanently affected her work as a model.

“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,” Graham said.

(Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for TIME)

Although the plus-sized model has done scandalous shoots in her career since the incident, but she has limits.

“My thing is: If it’s vulgar, and it’s, like, me grabbing my breasts and showing nipple, I’m not going to do it,” she told Glamour. “When I said, ‘I don’t do nip and bush,’ I didn’t feel like I had to be specific as to what kind. So, you might even see more nipple coming up. But trust me: You will never see my vagina!”

“There are reasons to set boundaries for yourself,” she continued. “Being a girl who waited until she was married to have sex with her husband but who is also a Sports Illustrated model is confusing for people,” she says. “But I set standards for myself. I want my message to women to be, ‘Do what is right for you.'”

Ford Springer

Contributor

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