Harry Potter actress Jessie Cave is opening up about her most traumatic experience.
The 33-year-old actress, best known for playing Ron Weasley’s love interest Lavender Brown in the hit franchise, made a horrifying revelation on a recent episode of her We Can’t Talk About That Right Now podcast with her 23-year-old sister Bebe, telling listeners that she was raped by her tennis coach when she was 14 years old.
The siblings were discussing which of them “had it worse” during their adolescence when Jessie shared her story, explaining:
“I think rape at 14 is pretty bad. By your tennis coach, who you trusted, a position of power. I was fit and I was very able with a tennis ball. But I was still taken advantage of, and he was sent to jail.”
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After the reveal, Jessie’s sister said, “That’s kind of a trump card” — to which the actress responded:
“I do pull it out a lot.”
Cave went on to say the experience meant she “had a completely different adolescence and early twenties” to her sister, adding:
“In retrospect I was still recovering and my sexual journey was a completely abnormal road to yours… there are still consequences from that period of time that I’m only realizing 18 years later.”
Despite suffering years of these consequences, however, the actress feels grateful she was able to recover from the experience.
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“The more time I have away from it, and this is going to sound awful, but I do feel quite lucky in so many ways that I had a rape that was actually… it didn’t destroy me… I think that’s something that people don’t talk about enough with sexual abuse and trauma. There are some people that are okay after, there are some people that do use it and find a way of living with it and definitely are not defined by it.”
Cave was a former county-level swimmer who also played tennis at a national level before she retired early due to injury. She was cast as Lavender in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince through an open casting call in 2007, beating more than 7,000 girls who turned up to the audition.
Since then, she’s appeared on stage in London and has performed comedy sets in the area. Cave has a daughter and son with comedian Alfie Brown and the couple are expecting their third child together.
It’s good to hear she’s moved on from such a terrible experience, but it’s still something that never should’ve happened in the first place. We only hope the consistent sharing of these horrible stories inspires more safeguards for children in the future.
[Image via Warner Bros./Jessie Cave/Instagram]