The #MeToo campaign has swept the globe and outed so many Hollywood heavyweights that it can be easy to forget that misconduct in the entertainment industry is happening in our beloved country too.
The recent sexual assault scandals have seen the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and many more accused of sexual misconduct, opening the conversation up to thousands of women to share their stories.
Most recently, Australia was shocked to hear TV gardening icon Don Burke accused of multiple sexual assault claims.
Now, another Australian has come forward to share their harrowing story.
Lisa Gormley, best known for her role as Bianca on Home And Away, has opened up about how she became a 'shell' of her former self when she was sexually harassed and bullied by a co-star on another job.
Lisa penned a letter for Cosmo's January 2018 issue. It reads:
'People think I have a dream job and I agree with them — sometimes I have to pinch myself when I realise I get paid to do what I love. But sadly, it’s that same reasoning that also makes many women in the arts stay quiet in the face of sexual harassment. Fear is such a powerful motivator — fear of what speaking up could do to your career — and so you learn to just suck it up. As they say, ‘The show must go on.'
'Hearing the recent reports about the abuse of power in Hollywood horrified me, but did it surprise me? No, because I’ve lived it too. I consider myself a pretty strong person, but during a theatre stint, a man I worked with completely broke me. When he realised I didn’t want to sleep with him, that I wasn’t going to giggle at his jokes or flirt with him, I became his enemy. He took every opportunity to make me feel like less of a person. He bit my lip during a stage kiss and forcibly held me against him during rehearsal. I didn’t know where to turn; I couldn’t walk out on the show and leave the team in the lurch — most of all, I needed to be employed.
'Feeling helpless, I looked online to see what resources were available to me, but there was nothing; no guidelines at all. It’s not like a regular office environment where you can go to HR. Every day I had to pretend I liked this person, be intimate and vulnerable with him. I couldn’t sleep; I lost weight and even lost my voice. When the show wrapped up, I cried for hours. I wanted to write letters to every single director warning them about him, I wanted to tell the world, but I couldn’t.
'Despite my experience, I feel like one of the lucky ones. There have only been two men that made me feel that way; the rest have been bliss. But there should’ve been zero. That’s why I’m choosing to speak up now — because not everyone can. It’s up to the rest of us to make noise on their behalf.'