Warning: This article contains distressing content.
Actor Daniel Franzese, best know for his role as Damian in Mean Girls, has opened up about being sexually abused by co-star Bijou Phillips while on the set of 2001 movie Bully.
The 39-year-old (who was 23-years-old at the time) took to Facebook to detail the abuse he endured from the 37-year-old actress (who was 21-years-old at the time).
“She body shamed me and ridiculed me about my sexuality and physically assaulted me,” he wrote. “I was scared and closeted and feared for my job.”
"Later on in the production I had a scene where my character had to take his shirt off," he adds. "It was an extremely vulnerable moment for me because I was not at all the type of guy comfortable with taking my clothes off in front of anyone at that point in my life. I was the chubby kid who wore his shirt in the pool. So I take my shirt off in the scene and she breaks character and she pointed at my body and at the top of her lungs yelled “Ewwww gross!!!” She laughed and pointed at me and continued to berate me. they call cut and I had to walk off set to collect myself."
Shortly after Franzese's post, the actress apologised in a statement to TMZ: “I want to write to address what Daniel has said. I don’t remember that time well, those years are a blur. I was a teenager and reckless in my behaviour. I know Daniel to be a trustworthy and honest person, and to find out through social media that I was not the friend I thought I was to him made me so sad.”
She adds, “I am so mortified by this behaviour and have contacted Daniel and apologised to him privately. I am not and never have been homophobic,” she continued. “I have nothing but love for the LGBTQ community and Daniel.”
The actor has since taken to Twitter to write a lengthy thread forgiving his abuser for the assault.
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