The "Charmed" actor helped launch the #MeToo movement two years ago when she tweeted out a call to action asking women who had been sexually harassed or assaulted in the past to reply to the tweet with "me too."
Milano, 45, said on her "Sorry Not Sorry" podcast on Monday that after filming "Who's the Boss," she was "working hard to break out of the box that my work as a child TV star was putting me in." She began taking on more mature roles in which she portrayed intimate love and sex scenes. During this time, she claimed she was sexually abused on the set of a film.
Although she didn't name the person involved or the film set that it happened on, Milano said that a man 17 years older than her, who she shared a love scene with, "took advantage of a moment of completee vulnerability [and] literal exposure."
"[He] put his hand under my underwear and [tried] to force his fingers inside of me," Milano said on her podcast. "He violated me on a set with cameras rolling."
Milano explained on "The View" on Wednesday why she chose to speak out about the alleged abuse more than two decades later.
"I think it's important for us in positions where we can speak on a platform to show that coming to terms with this and discussing these issues of sexual assault are very hard and they take a lot of years," she said. "So much goes into the thought of admitting this, not only to the world, but to yourself. I have never really been ready for that where I'm ready to go inside my own soul and deal with my own sexual assault."
Milano added that she was compelled to share her story after hearing those from other women around the world.
"They have given me the courage to not only share my stories, but to dive deep inside myself and figure out what that means to heal and to grow, and to continue on the path of moving this movement forward so that we can ensure that our children's generation of women and men who are sexually assaulted never have to deal with this again," Milano said. "Part of this for me was very personal, but also what I felt like I needed to do for the women that have shared their stories with me."
Withholding the name of her alleged abuser was also a difficult decision to make, Milano said.
"I was so close to saying his name" in the podcast, she said, noting that it was in the original copy of the script. She said, however, that she "got so scared."
"I think a lot of women can relate to this...when we confront our abusers, that we don't want to ruin their lives and their livelihoods because this man has a family. He has a successful job and it was 25 years ago," Milano said. "I wasn't ready to accuse him and have that blow up... It just became so overwhelming that I was, like, 'This is what I can do right now, and this is it, and maybe at some other point I can do more, but right now this is what I can do.'"
"I made that decision in my own time," Milano said about sharing her story without her alleged abuser's name. "That's what #MeToo is all about."
"You don't have to name your accuser. You don't have to say exactly what happened to you. You just have to stand in solidarity with other women that have faced this horrible reality," Milano said.
Following her alleged abuse, Milano said on her podcast that she "froze" and "ran hysterically" to her trailer "crying and afraid and furious." Milano claimed that the movie's director confronted her moments after the alleged on-set assault and said to her, "I'm sorry. I don't know what you want me to do about it. Should I call the police?"
The production of the film had ground to a halt following the incident, Milano said, and she "was in a state of complete emotional turmoil."
"I felt trapped. I felt completely alone, unsupported by the leadership of that production and, ultimately, I felt pressured in going back on the set and for another six hours continuing to shoot the scene with the man who had just sexually assaulted me."
Milano spoke against President Donald Trump in 2018 after he fired off a series of tweets challenging Christine Blasey Ford's sexual assault allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Ford claimed she was assaulted by Kavanaugh during a party when she was 15 years old, telling The Washington Post that she stayed silent about the alleged incident because she didn't want her parents to know about her underage drinking. Kavanaugh has categorically denied the accusations ever since they became public.
"I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents," Trump wrote. "I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!"
Milano responded, saying, "Hey, [Donald Trump], listen the f--- up. I was sexually assaulted twice. Once when I was a teenager. I never filed a police report and it took me 30 years to tell my parents. If any survivor of sexual assault would like to add to this please do so in the replies. #MeToo."
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