Ashley Graham Shares Story of Being Sexually Harassed at 17 by a Photo Assistant: He Exposed Himself’

When model Ashley Graham was 17 and living on her own in New York City, she had a terrifying encounter while shooting a campaign.

“A photo assistant said, ‘Come here, I want to talk to you,’” Graham shared during a Tuesday, January 9, appearance on The View. “He lured me into this hallway, pushed me into a closet. He exposed himself and he said, ‘Look at what you did to me all day long. Now touch it.’”

Graham, who is now 30, she ran out of the closet. “I just prayed that no one would find out, because if they found out that he did that to me, I thought, ‘I’m never going to get hired for a job again,’” she revealed, adding that she was worried people would think she was “the difficult model.”

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Ashley Graham attends The Fashion Awards 2017 in partnership with Swarovski at Royal Albert Hall on December 4, 2017 in London, England. Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images

If the same thing happened today, the 5-foot-9 beauty, who has graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and Vogue, said she would make noise. 

“If I knew what I knew now and all these women were standing up and saying ‘me too,’ I would have smacked that guy,” Graham revealed. “I probably would have started screaming, called my agency.” 

This is not the first time Graham has opened up about sexual assault. In her book A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like, she detailed the moment an 18-year-old family friend approached her while she was drying off after swimming in the pool and he made her touch his penis without consent. 

If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline.

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