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Matthew Underwood opens up about sexual assault as a young actor


Matthew Underwood opens up about sexual assault as a young actor

Zoey 101 alum Matthew Underwood opened up about the shocking reason behind quitting at the age of 19.

In the wake of Investigation Discovery’s four-part docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, Underwood claimed in a recent Instagram post that he was sexually assaulted by his agent.

“When I was 19, I was sexually harassed and then assaulted by my agent at the time, who had spent a decent amount of time building trust with me as a friend and mentor,” he wrote on Instagram on Friday.

“Again, my trust was betrayed and my self image was crushed,” he continued. “I reported him to the agency and he has since been fired — although he is still active in the industry. This experience provoked my move away from LA and ended my pursuit of acting.”

In his post, he also alleged that he’d been “molested by my best friends’ stepfather” at age 12 and further explained that he chose to speak up about his history of assault and harassment after receiving intense public criticism.

Now, 33, Underwood explained that the reason that he came out with his story was so that people could “not make assumptions about people’s personal experiences.”

“I imagine many of my friends in the business are being equally harassed if they aren’t joining in the chorus,” Underwood stated, adding that he hopes that people can “recognise” that people may have their own “good, personal” reasons for staying silent.

He concluded the lengthy message with pleading to “stop wishing death upon my family and please reconsider harassing other actors who wish to maintain their privacy.”

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