Sexual misconduct has been rampant in Hollywood for years.
The Harvey Weinstein scandal finally blew the lid off the deep-rooted deviancy in the business.
Now another big star is caught in the crosshairs after two alleged rape victims came forward.
Steven Seagal was one of the biggest names in action cinema during the ‘90s. Now two actresses from his past are taking legal action against him.
Two women who previously accused Steven Seagal of rape and sexual assault stepped forward today to offer more detailed accounts of the actor’s alleged misconduct. Los Angeles attorney Lisa Bloom told reporters in a press conference that she will represent former Dutch model Faviola Dadis and one-time aspiring actress Regina Simons as they seek justice. She applauded the two women for filing reports with the Los Angeles Police Department, and noted that “all legal options” remain open.
Steven Seagal may be a big action star,” Bloom said. “But it’s Faviola and Regina who are taking action now.”
Simons said she had just completed work as an extra on Seagal’s 1994 film On Deadly Ground when the actor invited her to a wrap party at his home. When she arrived, she said no one else was there. He led her to a bedroom under the pretext of showing her something, then, she says, he raped her.
I was completely caught off guard. Seagal was more than twice my size and twice my age. I was not sexually active, nor had I ever been naked in front of a man before. I froze,” said Simons, who was 18 years old at the time. “I remember him taking off his robe, and the next thing I knew he was inside of me. There was nothing consensual about this.”
Simons said she quickly dressed, ran for the door, and drove away in tears. “This completely changed the trajectory of my life,” she said, “I found it difficult to eat or sleep. I struggled to form healthy relationships.” She said she was emboldened by the #MeToo movement to come forward with her story.
“For the first time in 25 years I’ve allowed myself to process what happened and work through the pain,” Simons said, as she fought back tears. “I pray that my abuser can also heal. I want him to be aware, I want him to acknowledge what happened and apologize.”
Dadis said she was a 17-year-old model when she left the Netherlands in 2002 to pursue an acting career in Los Angeles. A music producer introduced her to the action star, who invited her to audition for a role in a movie about Genghis Khan. She said the two bonded over a shared interest in Buddhism and martial arts and they developed a friendship via text messages and phone calls.
Seagal requested a “private” audition at the W Hotel in Beverly Hills, where he could “evaluate my figure to see if I would be suitable for the role,” Dadis said. An assistant instructed her to arrive in a bikini or bra and panties underneath her clothing, a request she agreed to, noting it was “quite standard” in the modeling business.
An assistant escorted Dadis to the evening meeting with Seagal, then left her alone with the actor and his personal security guard.
“Steven asked me to take off my clothes, which I did, although I was nervous considering there were no other individuals present, and do a cat walk through the room for him,” Dadis said.
Seagal approached her suggesting they act out a “romantic scene” to test their chemistry.
“I felt uncomfortable because I was in my bikini, and I shyly expressed this,” Dadis said. “However, instead of respecting my boundaries, Seven slipped his hand underneath my bikini top and began pinching my nipples and simultaneously slid his hand across my vaginal area, which was only meagerly covered.”
Dadis declared the audition over, gathered her things and left. She did not return his subsequent phone calls, and did not immediately tell anyone about what had happened until friends and family members noticed a change in her behavior.
“It thought that I should have known better for going to an audition late at night,” Dadis said. “I didn’t realize that it wasn’t my fault at all. I had been taken advantage of by someone with a lot of power.”
The allegations haven’t yet been proven, but the fact the women have taken the step to file police reports instead of simply making public accusations doesn’t bode well for Seagal’s reputation.