Rachel Zegler says being asked about Ansel Elgort allegations was a ‘gut punch’

‘I reverted back to this brain space I was in June of 2020, when the accusation surfaced... Those days were some of the worst mental health days I’ve ever had,’ she said

Ariana DeBose and Kate McKinnon perform West Side Story duet on SNL

Rachel Zegler has spoken about the difficulty of answering questions about allegations of sexual assault against her co-star Ansel Elgort while doing press for West Side Story.

In June 2020, Elgort was accused of sexual assault by a woman who identified herself only as Gabby. In a Twitter post, she alleged the actor assaulted her when she was 17 and he was 20. The allegations, which Elgort denied, came to light after West Side Story wrapped filming.

Zegler – who played Maria opposite Elgort’s Tony – told Elle magazine in a new profile that she didn’t understand why she was the one having to answer for her co-star “even though the person in question was present”. Elgort only took part in group interviews around the movie’s release.

“It was a real gut punch, honestly,” Zegler said of answering for her male co-star. “I reverted back to this brain space I was in June of 2020, when the accusation surfaced... Those days were some of the worst mental health days I’ve ever had.

“I was sitting there having just turned 19, on the precipice of what was promised to be the biggest moment in my life, and was being held accountable [by the public] for accusations that not only had nothing to do with me but were made about a situation that was said to have occurred [five] years prior to when I had met and worked with this person.

“With no thought to the fact that I was also 17 when I met this person, 17 when I worked with them, 17 and 18 when I had to do love scenes.”

Zegler continued to say: “I really don’t have anything to do with this conversation, and I’m looking forward to moving past it.”

Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler in ‘West Side Story’

In her post, Gabby claimed she had messaged Elgort as a fan, after which he sent her his private Snapchat account and they met up.

“Instead of asking me if I wanted to stop having sex knowing it was my first time and I was sobbing in pain and I didn’t want to do it,” she wrote, “the only words that came out of his mouth were, ‘We need to break you in.’”

Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

Gabby alleged that she suffers from PTSD and panic attacks because of the alleged incident. “I WASN’T there in that moment mentally,” she wrote. “I disassociated myself and just felt like my mind was gone I was in shock.”

Elgort has strongly denied the accusations, saying that they shared a “brief, legal and entirely consensual relationship”. “I have never and would never assault anyone,” the actor wrote in a June 2020 post.

“As I look back at my attitude,” he wrote, “I am disgusted and deeply ashamed of the way I acted. I am truly sorry.”

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in