Hollywood’s Funny It Girl got serious in Glamour’s September cover story. Tiffany Haddish told the magazine that she was raped by a police cadet when she was just 17-years-old.
“That whole experience put me in such a messed-up place for a long time, and I ended up going to counseling,” the 38-year-old actress admitted.
The Night School star said that she reported the incident to the police back then, but that she is still working to help survivors like her to have a voice.
“Me just yelling out people’s names with no thought behind it is pointless. I need a plan,” she said.
“I could be a voice, but what’s a voice going to do — just keep talking? Or is there action behind it?”
She also told the popular women’s publication that what happened forced her to be more aggressive with men as a way to protect her from potential harm.
“I notice that men are afraid of women that are aggressive. So to protect myself I become semi-aggressive,” she said. “You hear about, ‘Tiffany always hitting on somebody,’ but that’s to keep them from hitting on me.”
USA Today pointed out that this isn’t the first time that Haddish has discussed the alleged attack. Last year on the podcast The Champs, she said that the incident happened after a school dance when the man, who lied to her family about his age, offered to take her home.
Instead, Haddish claims he took her to his house.
“So we get there and we get to his place and I see, like, handcuffs and a police uniform and I’m like, ‘What’s that? Is that like a Halloween costume or something?” she recalled.
“And he’s like, ‘No I’m a cadet, I’m training to be in the police force. I want to end up being a police officer.’ … Next thing I know, I’ve got one arm up in the handcuff, and he’s got me pinned down.”
She said she tried to stop him, but he had her pinned down.
“He raped me, he was stronger than me,” she recalled on the podcast, as she began to cry. “It was the worst feeling in the world.”
Sadly, stories like Haddish’s are not new or rare.
African-American women and girls are disproportionately impacted by sexual assault in this country. One study found that by the age of 18, 40-60 percent of us have been subjected to coercive sex and another suggested that we have higher rates of rape compared to our white, Asian and Latina female counterparts.
Thank you Tiffany for sharing your story with us. We know your courage will help more Black women out there who are also survivors.