Ben Affleck groped Hilarie Burton and tweaked her breast when she was 19, actress revisits horror in memoir
'One Tree Hill' alum Hilarie Burton in her new book titled ‘The Rural Diaries: Love, Livestock, and Big Life Lessons on Mischief Farm’, has opened up about the sexual abuse and harassment she endured at the hands of some of the leading men of Hollywood, including the disturbing encounter with Ben Affleck when she was serving as a VJ on MTV.
Recollecting the horrifying incident, she writes in her book, “I was nineteen, and I’d taken it on the chin and kept going. One of MTV's top brass called me and said, ‘You handled that so well'. I didn’t realize that I was being groomed — trained to be a good girl and a good sport, someone who would put up with much worse behavior."
The MTV TRL uncensored footage from 2003, which Burton shared in the wake of sexual allegations against Harvey Weinstein, sees the A-list actor walking to her offering a hug saying, "It's so nice to see you!". In the video Burton recalls, “He wraps his arm around me and comes over and tweaks my left boob!" It even reveals that the actor later asked her “What are you, 19?", following his misconduct.
She captioned the video, "Girls. I'm so impressed with you brave ones. I had to laugh back then so I wouldn't cry. Sending love."
When the disturbing clip resurfaced, Affleck even issued a public apology through a tweet, "I acted inappropriately toward Ms Burton and I sincerely apologize."
However, his apology was met with severe criticism as the outraged public asked why did he even have to behave so inappropriately in the first place. One Twitter user responded to Affleck’s tweet saying, “What the f**k? No, he wasn't a kid. He was a grown a** man in his 20s. Stop making excuses and justifications for sexual harassment."
Another read, “Why are you apologising 14 years later, didn't you realise it was wrong 14 years ago? Or 10? Or 5? Or last year? Only now you're called out?"
In her latest book, the actress also recalls her worst experience with ‘One Tree Hill’ creator Mark Schwann, who has been accused of sexual abuse and harassment by many female stars on the hit teenage drama series.
"In my particular fairy tale there had been a villain who pitted female actors against one another, pushed us to do gratuitous sex scenes that always left me feeling ill and ashamed, told young female actors to stick their chests out, put his hands on all of us, and pushed himself on me, forcing unwanted kisses,” she shares.