Published 3:40 PM EDT Sep 9, 2019
Camila Mendes is opening up about a dark experience.
The 25-year-old “Riverdale” star revealed to Women’s Health magazine she was sexually assaulted during her freshman year at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
“I had a very, very bad experience,” she said in her October cover story, published online Monday. “I was roofied by someone who sexually assaulted me.”
Mendes said this experience inspired her to get a tattoo of the phrase “to build a home” in cursive above her rib cage.
Since her assault, Mendes told the magazine she has promised to make sure everything in her life makes her feel safe and comfortable – and her tattoo reminds her to empower both herself and her environment.
“Whenever I feel like I’m going through something difficult, I think about what I can do physically for myself,” she said.
Mendes is not the only “Riverdale” star who has gotten candid about her experiences.
In 2017, Mendes’ co-star Lili Reinhart penned a Tumblr post where she recounted how a “significantly older” man “in a position of power” pressured her to have sex.
“I’m not comfortable giving specific details about the situation because I don’t feel it’s necessary,” Reinhart wrote. “All that matters is that he tried to force himself on me when we were on a date.”
Though Reinhart wrote she “physically walked away from the situation before it could get any worse,” the experience still left her “feeling completely violated and uncomfortable.”
Reinhart wrote she stayed quiet about the incident due to industry pressure.
“If I said something, maybe the production would be halted,” she wrote, “people would be put out of work. I would be looked at as dramatic and a diva, no one would want to work with me again.”
She capped off her post saying she decided to share her story to encourage people to put an end to sexual assault.
“I’m coming forward about my own experience to further express how common these assaults are in this industry and how important it is that we take action to fight against it,” she wrote.
More: Lili Reinhart shares love poem for Cole Sprouse amid breakup rumors
Mendes has been candid in the past about her experiences, including talking openly about having disordered eating.
“I didn’t realize I had an eating disorder until I entered the industry…I couldn’t even get through a fitting (on ‘Riverdale’),” she said in June at POPSUGAR’s Play/Ground summit, per POPSUGAR and Page Six.
“I used to think (dieting) was a nice, healthy way to live. It took a lot…to get rid of that fear of carbs,” she added.
Camila Mendes bravely details how ‘Riverdale’ fittings impacted her health