'How to Get Away with Murder' Star Karla Souza Alleges She Was Assaulted By A Director in Mexico

Karla Souza, who currently plays Laurel on ABC's How to Get Away with Murder, is following in the footsteps of all of the strong women before her who have spoken out about being sexually assaulted. In an interview with CNN en Español, Souza said she was both assaulted and raped by a director, whom she didn't name.

The alleged incident happened in Mexico when Souza was shooting on location. 

"I had just started my career, and they introduced me to all of these producers, and that's where the manipulation began of 'You owe me one,'" Souza said. "So they start to put that in your head, they'll tell you things like, 'Oh, you know, I'm having to push for you. You haven't made a name for yourself, but I know that you're great. I know that you're going to show me that you're great.' I'm saying it like this but it's all said in a very relaxing setting, but they're little seeds that are red flags that back then I wasn't educated on this to know what this person was doing. This is a very charismatic person, who has a great career."

Souza said she felt uncomfortable in the early stages of production. Her and the director were even placed in a separate hotel from the rest of the cast, where Souza said he would knock on her door at all hours of the night. When she refused to let the director in, she said he would treat her poorly the next day. 

"He would insult me in front of the cast," Souza said. "This was his form of psychological control that he had with me. At the same time, he was charming and if I opened the door he was great with me."

She continued: "At the same time, he was charming and if I opened the door he was great with me. But he was very insistent and would even send me messages," Souza said. "After a month of his abuse and under his control, I sort of gave up and I let him kiss me and touch me in ways that I didn't want him to. In one of the instances, he violently attacked me, and yes, he raped me."

Souza's admission is extremely brave and I applaud her for coming forward, and hope this helps on her journey to recovery.