Rachel Zegler: It was hurtful to answer questions about the Ansel Elgort controversy

Rachel Zegler says it was “really hurtful” to have to face questions about the sexual assault allegations made against her West Side Story co-star Ansel Elgort.

The award-winning actress said it was “deeply disappointing” to be “held accountable” by the public for allegations unrelated to her.

In 2020, Elgort, 28, was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 2014 when she was 17 and he was 20 – allegations he has denied.

Zegler and Elgort played the lead roles of Maria and Tony in Stephen Spielberg’s 2021 reimagining of the hit West End musical.

Speaking to Elle magazine, Zegler recalled being asked questions about the controversy at press rounds for West Side Story ahead of the film’s release, alongside female co-stars Ariana DeBose and Rita Moreno.

“It was honestly a real punch in the gut,” she said.

“I went back to that brain area that I was in [back in] June 2020 when the allegation surfaced.

“We were in the middle of the first wave of lockdown and there was nothing to do but doom scrolling. Those days were some of the worst mental days I’ve ever had.

“I sat there, having just turned 19, on the precipice of what was promised to be the greatest moment of my life and held accountable [by the public] for allegations that not only had nothing to do with me, but were made about an alleged situation [five] Years before I had met and worked with this person.

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Ansel Elgort was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 2014 when he was 20 and she was 17. He was denied the allegations (Matt Crossick/PA)

“Without thinking that I was also 17 when I met this person, 17 when I worked with her, 17 and 18 when I had to do love scenes.”

Zegler said she was devastated by news of the allegations.

“[There is] inherent uneasiness that comes with realizing that there are tons of people who think you have to take responsibility for the actions of a grown man who can speak for himself,” she told Elle.

“It’s so disappointing at every turn no matter how you slice it.

“No matter how many times I’ve tried to justify people’s concern when it’s about me in my head, but then realized it’s coming from a place where I have to be responsible and they don’t really care is whether I was okay or not was really hurtful.”

West Side Story was nominated for seven Academy Awards, with DeBose winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/rachel-zegler-it-was-hurtful-to-answer-questions-on-ansel-elgort-controversy-41568915.html Rachel Zegler: It was hurtful to answer questions about the Ansel Elgort controversy

Fry Electronics Team

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