US actress Megan Fox has defended film director Michael Bay after a 2009 interview where she described an encounter with him resurfaced online.
The interview showed Fox describe how Bay got her to “dance underneath a waterfall” in a bikini when she was 15 years old, for the film Bad Boys II.
Some Twitter users said Bay, who later directed Fox in two Transformer films, had “sexualised” her as a teenager.
But Fox said she was “never assaulted or preyed upon” sexually.
The video of Fox being interviewed by Jimmy Kimmel was shared on Twitter with the comment: “Clip from 2009 where Megan Fox tells a story about Michael Bay sexualising her as a 15 y/o. The crowd laughs, and Kimmel makes gross jokes. Teen girls being preyed on by older men has never been taken seriously and still isn’t.”
Writing on Instagram, Fox said: “Please hear me when I thank you for your support but these specific instances were inconsequential in a long and arduous journey along which I have endured some genuinely harrowing experiences in a ruthlessly misogynistic industry.
“When it comes to my direct experiences with Michael, I was never assaulted or preyed upon in what I felt was a sexual manner.”
She said she was posting in order to “clarify some details as they have been lost in the retelling of the events and cast a sinister shadow that doesn’t really, in my opinion, belong”.
Fox continued: “There are many names that deserve to be going viral in cancel culture right now, but they are safely stored in the fragmented recesses of my heart.
“I’m thankful to all of you who are brave enough to speak out and I’m grateful to all of you who are taking it upon yourselves to support, uplift, and bring comfort to those who have been harmed by a violent and toxic societal paradigm.”
Others responding to the 2009 interview with Jimmy Kimmel also referred to reports that Spielberg, an executive producer on Transformers, had forced Fox to leave the series after she compared Bay to Adolf Hitler.
Fox’s publicist said at the time that the actress left of her own accord.
In a later interview though, Fox said: “All I had to do was apologise – and I refused. I was so self-righteous at 23, I couldn’t see [that] it was for the greater good. I really thought I was Joan of Arc.”
But in her new Instagram post, she said she was “never assaulted or preyed upon” by Spielberg either.
In reference to another story about her auditioning for her Transformers role, Fox said she was 19 or 20 at the time and had to pretend “to work on one of Michael’s Ferraris… there were several other crew members and employees present and I was at no point undressed or anything similar.
“I was not made to ‘wash’ or work on someone’s cars in a way that was extraneous from the material in the actual script.”
The first two Transformers films, starring Fox, were released in 2007 and 2009.
The BBC has asked representatives for Bay and Spielberg for comment.
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