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'Speechless' star Minnie Driver reveals prior sexual assault

'Speechless' star Minnie Driver reveals prior sexual assault
Minnie Driver attends the 14th annual Hammer Museum Gala in the Garden on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Los Angeles. On Tuesday, Driver shared that she was the victim of sexual assault as a teenager. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Minnie Driver, star of ABC’s “Speechless,” became the latest celebrity to open up about a painful piece of personal history on Tuesday, as she shared the story of her sexual assault as a teenager. 

A guest on the SiriusXM radio program “Stand Up with Pete Dominick,” Driver recounted an incident when she was 17 where a man grabbed her by the elbow and informed her that she would be dancing with him.

“I said, ‘No,’ and I pulled my arm away from him, and he grabbed me by the back of my hair. I tried to kick him, and then he punched me,” Driver said.

The conversation about assault began with Driver and host Dominick discussing the leaked, behind-the-scenes “Access Hollywood” footage that featured Donald Trump implying that he could do as he pleased to women because he was a star.

“Would you admit to having ever been assaulted or groped,” Dominick asked Driver.

“One hundred percent, and every girl that I know,” was her response, at which point she told her story.

(Warning: The video includes language that mirrors that of the “Access Hollywood” footage, which may be NSFW. Driver’s story begins around 2:35.)

Driver is the second actress to go public with her past sexual assault in the aftermath of the “Access Hollywood” leak.

Amber Tamblyn (“Joan of Arcadia,” “Two and a Half Men”) posted Sunday on her Instagram feed (which includes explicit language) the details of a past incident between herself and her ex-boyfriend while out at a club with friends.

Tamblyn recounted being manhandled by her ex and carried from the club against her will with one of his hands in her hair and one between her legs.

“To this day, I remember that moment. I remember the shame. I am afraid my mom will read this post. I’m even more afraid that my father could ever know this story. That it would break his heart,” Tamblyn wrote to conclude her post. “I couldn’t take that. But you understand, don’t you? I needed to tell a story. Enjoy the debates tonight.”

With regard to Driver’s assault, the “Good Will Hunting” actress stated that though she informed police of the incident at the time, they seemed to feel that it was Driver who was at fault, not her assailant.

“This guy was just having a good time, and if you’d gone along with it, it would’ve been fine,” she recalled them saying. “If you’d just danced with him, you wouldn’t be in this position that you’re in now.”

The tape with Trump’s comments seems to have sparked a renewed conversation about the pervasive nature of sexual assault. 

Author Kelly Oxford tweeted the story of her first sexual assault on the afternoon of Oct. 4 and invited other women to share their stories, only to receive thousands of replies. According to Oxford, the stories continue to pour in.

https://twitter.com/kellyoxford/status/786268010398961664

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network reports that on average, 284,000 Americans over the age of 12 are sexually assaulted each year. That’s one incident every 109 seconds.

libby.hill@latimes.com

Twitter: @midwestspitfire

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