The entertainment industry is notoriously creepy, but Bella Thorne just offered up some next-level revelations on Tuesday’s High Low With EmRata, hosted by the still-very-single Emily Ratajkowski. According to Thorne, growing up as a child actor was “fucking stressful,” and when she was 10 years old, she lost out on a role after a male director accused her of “flirting” with him.
“I had a director give me feedback once, and I was 10. The casting director calls my agent and the agent calls my mom, and they’re like, ‘So, she’s not moving forward because the director felt like she was flirting with him, and it made him really uncomfortable,’” Thorne told Ratajkowski, adding that the incident made her feel like she was at fault: “‘What did you do, Bella? What did you do? You made him feel like this,’” Thorne recalled thinking to herself at the time.
But the 25-year-old sees things differently now. “I don’t give a fuck what the fuck I said. I don’t care if I said, ’Eat my pussy right now. [I was] 10 years old. Why would you ever think that [I was flirting]?” Thorne continued. Despite her young age, the former Disney star said she was put in a “box” growing up and was associated with sex ever “since I was so little.”
Her story is a reminder of the truly terrifying and predatory circumstances child stars, particularly those who came of age in the 2000s and earlier, are often up against. Despite total external control of their image and extensive policing of any expressions of sexuality, female child stars are often still aggressively sexualized by male audiences and the public, in general. (Thorne also spoke about nearly getting fired by Disney at age 14 after she was photographed at the beach in a bikini.)
This isn’t the first time Thorne’s talked about being hyper-sexualized and sexually abused at a young age. In 2018, she talked about surviving sexual abuse in an Instagram post. “I was sexually abused and physically growing up from the day I can remember till I was 14,” Thorne wrote. She continued, “Over and over I waited for it to stop and finally it did. But some of us aren’t as lucky to get out alive.”
Ratajkowski also talked to Thorne about her own experiences with being sexualized as a minor while trying to break into the modeling industry. When she was 16 years old, Ratajkowski says her agent “pointed to my picture … and they were like, ‘This face. This is how we know this girl gets fucked. You’ve got to give a lesson, Emily, on this.’” In her memoir. My Body, Ratajkowski recalled being sexually assaulted by a photographer, also early in her career, and alleged that singer Robin Thicke groped her while filming his controversial “Blurred Lines” music video, also relatively early in her career.