As scandal surrounds her upcoming film The Birth of a Nation and its director, Gabrielle Union is not mincing her words.
Two months before the wide release of her latest Sundance project, the actress has penned an emotional op-ed in the Los Angeles Times regarding her co-star and director Nate Parker. In the midst of publicity for his upcoming project, the 36-year-old director-producer-writer has come under fire for a rape he was accused of committing as a college student at Penn State University in 1999. Parker was acquitted of the charges during the trial and, this month, issued a statement after learning his accuser had committed suicide in 2012.
"I am filled with profound sorrow…I can't tell you how hard it is to hear this news. I can't help but think of all the implications this has for her family," he wrote on Facebook. "I cannot- nor do I want to ignore the pain she endured during and following our trial. While I maintain my innocence that the encounter was unambiguously consensual, there are things more important than the law."
However, his remarks have not eased Union's concerns. Instead, as a teenage survivor of rape at gunpoint, Union drew from her own experience to launch a national discussion.
"Rape is a wound that throbs long after it heals. And for some of us the throbbing gets too loud. Post traumatic stress syndrome is very real and chips away at the soul and sanity of so many of us who have survived sexual violence," she wrote in her published piece for the newspaper. "Since Nate Parker's story was revealed to me, I have found myself in a state of stomach-churning confusion."