Last night, I was reading the news and gossip and I idly thought, “I wonder if anyone else has come forward with a new accusation about Ed Westwick? It’s been a few days since the second woman came forward.” And wouldn’t you know, just minutes before I wondered that, Buzzfeed had published an account from a third woman who claims that Ed Westwick sexually assaulted her in 2014, at a “private” party the night before the Academy Awards. You can read the full Buzzfeed article here.
On the night before the Academy Awards in 2014, Rachel Eck received a text message from her ex-boyfriend asking her to meet at a party inside a swanky Hollywood hotel. Eck, a 23-year-old executive assistant at the time, had just moved to Los Angeles and was excited by the idea she might get back together with her ex, Australian film producer Kaine Harling. Instead, it would be the last time they would see each other.
“On the way, he told me he was with his friend Ed Westwick,” Eck told BuzzFeed News, recalling that at the time she didn’t really know “who that was.”
When she arrived around 2:30 a.m. at the multi-bedroom villa at the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood, she was surprised to find there was no party after all — just Harling and Westwick, a British actor best known for his role as Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl. Westwick “asked me to invite a friend to hang out with the three of us,” she said, but it was late and her friends were asleep. “When I didn’t bring a girl for him he turned his sights on me.”
Eck said she was sexually assaulted by Westwick that night — the same year that two other women, Kristina Cohen and Aurélie Wynn, were allegedly raped by the actor. A representative for Westwick did not have a comment on the new allegation. Westwick, 30, has denied both of the previous allegations, saying on Twitter that they are “two unverified and provably untrue social media claims.”
Eck said Westwick would “try to kiss me or kind of push me up against the wall,” whenever Harling would leave the two of them alone — an act Eck said happened a few times that night over a seven-hour period. Eck said she “pushed off” Westwick each time, and told him that she was dating Harling. As the night wore on, she said, “it got worse and he got more handsy.” Eck said she told Harling about Westwick’s unwanted advances, but Harling dismissed her objections. Westwick “didn’t mean it,” Harling allegedly told her.
Eck said she threatened to leave the hotel, but she liked Harling and he convinced her to stay. Finally, she told Harling she “was definitely leaving,” but then he said Westwick wanted to apologize. She followed Harling into the villa’s bedroom where Westwick was. “Ed then pulled me onto the bed and aggressively groped me,” she said, referring to her breasts. “I shoved him off as quickly as I could and left.”
Eck, who is now a creative producer, said at the time she felt like what happened “just seemed to be accepted,” but when other women recently came forward with similar stories she realized that she wasn’t alone. “I have never felt so uncomfortable in a situation like that in my entire life,” Eck said.
Buzzfeed also spoke to three of Eck’s friends, all of whom say that Eck told them what Westwick did to her. I believe Rachel Eck, just as I believe Kristina Cohen and Aurélie Wynn. I find the pattern completely disturbing too – both Kristina and Rachel say that they had boyfriends/significant others who were PRESENT around the time of the assault/rape but did not witness the assaults directly. Both of the boyfriends refused to believe their girlfriends when the women were like “Yo, your friend Ed Westwick is a sexual assailant, bro.” It also feels like something was going on with Westwick specifically in 2014, as all three of these sexual assaults and rapes took place in that year. This is so creepy and awful.
Photos courtesy of Getty.