Former Miss Universe Says She Was Victim of Sexual Harassment
Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rose McGowan and many more celebrities have come forward in the recent weeks to share harrowing experiences of being sexually harassed in Hollywood.
After dozens of women accused powerhouse film executive Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment from as far back as three decades ago, more women who’ve been harassed by other men in power have come forward. The trending hashtag #MeToo, created by actress Alyssa Milano to reveal “the magnitude of the problem,” generated more than 500,000 tweets in just one day.
Now, Miss Universe 2006 Zuleyka Rivera confessed in an interview with language program ¡Suelta la sopa! (Telemundo) that she too has been the victim of sexual harassment. “That’s why I left a specific country that I’m not going to name,” the Puerto-Rican beauty queen said when asked about the plethora of Hollywood heavyweights coming forward about sexual abuses they’ve suffered at the hands of men. “I left because I believe in me, in my talent, as far as I have come and what I have coming.”
Although she didn’t reveals specific details about what she endured, Rivera—who starred in “Despacito’s” viral music video—did make it clear that it’s very important for women to take a stand. “[There is a] lack of respect for women,” she said. “You have to value yourself and stand your ground.”
At the age of 18, the statuesque model won the coveted title of Miss Universe 2006, and went on to study acting in New York City, eventually nabbing roles in popular Mexican soap operas. She now hosts Spanish-language daytime talk shows Un Nuevo Dia (Telemundo) and Despierta America (Univision).