Abuse – physical, mental, and sexual abuse – is rampant in the entertainment industry. Wealth and status can make abusers feel invincible and above the law. If you are a survivor of abuse in the entertainment industry, arrange at once to speak with a national sexual abuse lawyer.
Abuse in the entertainment industry is not limited to news stories like the stories about Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein. Abuse happens at every level of the industry and not just in New York and Hollywood. Anyone who works in entertainment could be an abuse victim.
Is there a statute of limitations – a deadline – for taking legal action with an abuse claim? Can abuse victims recover monetary compensation? When should an abuse survivor contact a nationwide sexual abuse attorney? Keep reading, and you will find the answers you may need.
How Long Has Abuse Been a Concern in Hollywood?
Claims of abuse in the film industry go back for over a century. In 1921, comic actor Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle was accused of the rape of actress Virginia Rappe, who died four days after the alleged rape incident. After two trials with hung juries, Arbuckle was eventually acquitted.
In the 1970’s, film director Roman Polanski was accused of the rape of a 13-year-old girl. He was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse and fled to Europe before he was sentenced. Polanski now resides in France and is a dual citizen of France and Poland.
Abuse by powerful entertainment industry figures, along with their ability to hire the best lawyers or flee to other nations, is as old as Hollywood itself, and that is why victims of abuse in the entertainment industry must have astute, experienced legal advice and representation.
What Are the Most Prevalent Types of Abuse?
From a legal perspective, abusers in the entertainment industry have been guilty of three types of abuse:
- Physical abuse may include pinching, slapping, choking, shoving, kicking, or the use of restraints or drugs.
- Mental or psychological abuse is the deliberate infliction of emotional or psychological pain and includes coercion, intimidation, harassment, and ridicule. Psychological abuse also includes isolating a victim from others or verbally inflicting mental distress.
- Sexual abuse – whether it is a single incident or a series of incidents – is nonconsensual sexual contact of any kind, including nonconsensual touching as well as coerced nudity, rape, sodomy, and sexually explicit photos or videos taken without consent.
The Vulnerable Are the Victims of Abuse
In the entertainment business, the victims of abuse or assault may fear that reporting these incidents will adversely affect their career prospects. Victims may also suspect that others may not believe their side of the story.
Children and teens who work in the entertainment industry are particularly vulnerable. They often spend long hours in the company of adults who are not their parents, and they may lack the judgment or experience to understand what abuse is and what it means.
It can be exceedingly difficult to go up against powerful and famous persons. Nevertheless, abuse in the entertainment business is a crime, and abuse victims have the right to seek justice. If you are a survivor of abuse, discuss your claim with a lawyer as quickly as possible. You and your lawyer should start compiling evidence and identifying witnesses immediately.
What Are an Abuse Survivor’s Options?
In many cases, survivors of abuse may bring a lawsuit against an abuser, seek to have criminal charges filed against an abuser, or both. However, and especially if some time has passed, seeking to have an abuser prosecuted in a criminal court may not be the best option.
If you file an abuse lawsuit and you take the abuser to civil court, you do not have to prove the abuser’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” as you would in a criminal trial, although you and your attorney nevertheless must prove it is “more likely than not” that you suffered abuse.
If your lawsuit prevails, you may be awarded compensation for your counseling and treatment expenses, medical costs, personal pain, emotional suffering, and related losses and damages.
When Should an Abuse Survivor Contact an Attorney?
If you are a survivor of abuse in the entertainment industry and you have not sought counseling, you should, because it is important to start the healing process. But you should also seek legal advice and services by contacting a national sexual abuse lawyer as quickly as possible.
Due to recent revisions of the statutes of limitations in a number of states, survivors of abuse in the entertainment industry in most parts of the U.S. may now bring lawsuits against abusers even if the abuse took place years ago.
The deadlines (statutes of limitations) for taking legal action vary from state to state, so abuse survivors should consult a nationwide sexual abuse attorney to understand your right to file a lawsuit against an abuser in your own state.
What if You Were Abused as a Child?
The Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act of 2022 abolishes the federal statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse claims. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse may now file lawsuits against abusers for sexual abuse crimes committed at any time in the past.
Lawmakers across the nation are now realizing that there are legitimate reasons why abuse victims often wait many years before coming forward to seek justice. An abuse lawyer can advise you about the best way to proceed with your own abuse claim in your own state.
What Else Should Abuse Survivors Know?
In many cases, survivors of abuse in the entertainment industry may also bring lawsuits against parties who were complicit in the abuse. If the abuse happened at a film or music company or any other business in the entertainment industry, in some circumstances, that company may also be held liable for abuse.
An abuse attorney represents his or her clients on a contingency fee basis, so you pay no attorney’s fee unless and until your attorney recovers compensation on your behalf. Your first consultation with an abuse attorney is provided without obligation or cost.
If you’re a survivor of abuse in the entertainment industry, without regard to where you are in the U.S. or how much time has elapsed since the abuse took place, exercise your rights, and speak with an attorney as quickly as possible about seeking the justice you are entitled to under the law.