Pamela Anderson sparked a firestorm of criticism Friday after telling Megyn Kelly in an interview that alleged victims of Harvey Weintein’s sexual assault could have done more to avoid being victimized.
The 50-year-old former Baywatch star appeared on Megyn Kelly Today Thursday, where she told the NBC host that Weinstein’s alleged predations were “common knowledge” in the industry. Weinstein has been accused by more than 90 women of sexual harassment or assault, including at least ten women who claim the disgraced movie mogul raped them.
“It was common knowledge that certain producers or certain people in Hollywood are people to avoid, privately,” Anderson told Kelly. “You know what you’re getting into if you’re going into a hotel room alone.”
“Don’t go into a hotel room alone,” she continued. “If someone answers the door in a bathrobe, leave. These are things that are common sense, but I know Hollywood is very seductive and the people want to be famous. Sometimes you think you are going to be safe with an adult in a room. I don’t know where this security comes from, but somehow I dodged it all.”
Anderson also said she had once worked with Weinstein on a film, and called the producer “very intimidating.”
Anderson’s comments were met with strong backlash on social media, with some users claiming the actress was blaming the victims for their own mistreatment.
But the actress and former model issued a statement Friday on her Instagram account in which she refused to apologize, explaining that she was trying to help women become more “proactive” about dealing with sexual harassment and assault.
“My position is not ‘problematic’ because I doesn’t fall in line with the common herd or trend. I’m trying to tell women as a survivor of childhood abuse myself – It is important to be proactive as an adult who knows better – in defending themselves,” she wrote.
“Don’t get in cars with strangers #rideresponsibly- Don’t go to Hotel rooms alone for an audition. Women are powerful and smart and we can use all our charms in more positive ways,” she added. “I think it’s very smart to be proactive. And I stand by what I say.”
Anderson is the latest star to be accused of victim-blaming women who have come forward to accuse prominent men of sexual abuse. Fashion designer Donna Karan and screen legend Angela Lansbury have come under similar fire in recent weeks.