Karla Souza

David Buchan/Getty Images for Westfield

Karla Souza claims that a director in Mexico raped her during the early stages of her career. 

The How to Get Away With Murder star opened up for the first time about the incident during an interview on Tuesday with CNN en Español. The actress said that a director attacked her, she did not disclose the name. 

"I had just started my career, and they introduced me to all of these producers, and that's where the manipulation began of 'You owe me one,'" the actress explains on Aristegui. "So they start to put that in your head, they'll tell you things like, 'Oh, you know, I'm having to push for you. You haven't made a name for yourself, but I know that you're great. I know that you're going to show me that you're great.' I'm saying it like this but it's all said in a very relaxing setting, but they're little seeds that are red flags that back then I wasn't educated on this to know what this person was doing. This is a very charismatic person, who has a great career."

Souza says she noticed something wasn't right when she and the director were placed in one hotel, while the rest of the cast and crew were in a separate hotel. This made her feel uncomfortable because for all meals at the hotel it would just be them two. 

The alleged "inappropriate" behavior began when the director would knock on her door at 2 AM to go over lines or because he had thought of something to add to the film or simply because he wanted to talk to her.

She says she felt that she didn't have the option to reject him, she says that on the nights that she didn't open the door, the next day he'd manipulate her by not filming her scenes or treating her badly on set as a form of retaliation. 

"He would insult me in front of the cast. This was his form of psychological control that he had with me.  At the same time, he was charming and if I opened the door he was great with me. But he was very insistent and would even send me messages," she explains. "After a month of his abuse and under his control, I sort of gave up and I let him kiss me and touch me in ways that I didn't want him to. 

"In one of the instances, he violently attacked me, and yes, he raped me. I'm sorry it's hard for me," the actress says as she wipes away her tears. 

Today, co-star Viola Davistweeted her support for Souza by writing, "Love to @karlasouza7...for our courage, your heart and for standing in your WORTH!" 

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