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“Gossip Girl” star accused of rape

Following the multiple sexual assault allegations continually arising against Harvey Weinstein, more people are coming forward with sexual harassment and rape accusations. One such claim involves Ed Westwick, who starred on the CW’s “Gossip Girl.”

In a recent Facebook post by actress Kristina Cohen, she outlines the night she claims Westwick raped her in the guest room of his house in 2014. She stated that she broke her silence on the incident after hearing accusations against Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.

Cohen isn’t the only one to accuse Westwick of sexual assault. After word spread about the post, another actress, Aurélie Wynn, also posted a similar account on Facebook. Like Cohen, Wynn kept her claim to herself for the past three years.

Westwick publicly denied that he has ever met Cohen. He also denies all of the allegations. He and his representatives have not responded to Wynn’s statement at this time. The LAPD has begun an investigation into the claims. So far, no strong evidence is public.

Both women likely found motivation to come forward with their allegations in light of the major increase of sexual assault cases within the entertainment industry. Both women also linked their suppression of the incidents to the power that public figures like Westwick hold. Without knowing the specific facts of these cases, we have no way of knowing whether such allegations have any validity.

Whether true or false, sexual assault claims can cause irreparable damage to one’s image and career. Even for non-celebrities, it can be difficult to overcome the stigma of such accusations before holding a fair trial. Such a stigma can also have lifelong consequences. It can mean jail time and mandatory registration as a sex offender. Sometimes that stigma lingers even after the trial proves innocence, potentially interfering with your relationships and your ability to locate a job. While those who fabricate allegations can face consequences for causing these serious issues, there still are instances where innocent individuals face arrest for sex crimes due to such allegations

While the investigation has just started, Westwick has contacted legal representation. An attorney can help you battle false accusations of rape and sexual abuse so you don’t have to face the penalty reserved for actual offenders.

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