ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Mira Sorvino revealed Wednesday that she's a survivor of date rape, saying she was talking about it publicly to lend her voice to a push for stronger sexual assault laws in New York.
The Oscar-winning actress, who was one of the first women to accuse the film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, choked up during a news conference at the state Capitol with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Talking publicly about Weinstein's misconduct, she said, had been traumatic. But she said that she'd also had another, previously undisclosed bad experience with a man she didn't identify.
"I am also a survivor of date rape," she said, her eyes tearing.
Sorvino said she wouldn't go into details, but wanted to disclose the assault to help others.
"I am doing it here to try and help, because there are all these survivors out there right now who need justice, who need to feel that they can take the time they need to sort through the trauma, to sort through the shame," she said. "Because I can tell you in situations of second degree rape, which is what mine would constitute, you feel ashamed. You feel that somehow it was your fault."
In New York, second-degree rape involves victims who cannot consent to sexual activity, either because of their age, mental capacity or state of inebriation.
Advocates want lawmakers to repeal the state's statute of limitations for second- and third-degree rape and tweak the law to make it easier for victims to prove harassment claims.
Cuomo, a Democrat, thanked Sorvino for being "brave and courageous" after listening to her speak.