Ashley Graham has spoken out about being sexually harassed at work when she was 17 years old, saying the incident has shaped the way she behaves as a model.
The model was speaking to Glamour magazine about her “boundaries on set” when she spoke about the alleged assault for the first time.
“There was an incident on set of a campaign job when I was 17 years old - I haven’t told this story - and there was a photo assistant who was into me,” she said.
“He was like, ‘Hey, come here,’ and he led me into a closet. And I was like, ‘What?’ I thought he was going to show me something. And he pulled me in and he pulled his penis out. And he was like, ‘Grab it.’ And I was like, ‘No! That’s disgusting.’ I freaked out. And thank God I was closer to the door and I just bolted out.”
The model, now 29, said she has since seen the male through work, but she didn’t tell anyone about the incident at the time because she used to think “maybe he’s changed”.
“It was my young mentality. But I told myself, ever since that incident, that I wasn’t going to allow someone at work to manipulate what I wanted to do on set. So any image that you see out there is one that I wanted to take,” she said.
Graham went on to encourage readers to be confident in their own skin and “embrace what [they] have”.
It isn’t the first time she’s championed body-confidence.
Perviously speaking to HuffPost UK, she said: “Women are finally wanting to talk about body-shaming, they’re finally wanting to fight back and they want people to look up to in the media. I’m happy to be that woman because I am that woman.
“I have hated by body and I still have my days of feeling like the world is gonna end because I can feel a roll hanging over my jeans, but at the end of the day we’re all in it together.”