Meryl Streep opens up about being 'beaten' in speech addressing violence against women

'In one instance I played dead and waited until the blows stopped,' The Devil Wears Prada star says

Tom Embury-Dennis
Saturday 18 November 2017 13:51
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Meryl Streep recounts her experience of being violently assaulted

Meryl Streep said she "once played dead and waited until the blows stopped" as she opened up about her experience of being “beaten” in a speech addressing violence against women.

“I do know something about real terror," The Devil Wear's Prada star told the audience at the International Press Freedom Awards in New York.

The two times in my life when I was threatened and dealt with real physical violence I learned something about life that I wouldn’t have known otherwise, and I was lucky because my instincts served me well."

She said: “In one instance I played dead and waited until the blows stopped. Watching like people say you do from 50 feet above where I was beaten."

“And in the second instance someone else was being abused and I just went completely nuts and went after this man. Ask Cher, she was there. And the thug ran away, it was a miracle.

She added: “I was changed by these events on a cellular level. Because women know something particular about coming to the danger place.

“We come to it disadvantaged through the many millennia preceding our present moment, and because of our vulnerabilities we anticipate danger, we expect it, we’re hyper alert to it, we have the 360 on the whole room.

“We have they say measurably more acute hearing, we have better sense of smell, we notice details, what people are wearing, their ticks and peculiarities. This comes in very handy in investigative journalism and also in acting.”

Streep said there had never been a “more exciting, exhausting and dangerous time” to be an investigative journalist, especially for women who suffer a “special cocktail of venom and ridicule that is always tinged with sexual threat”.​

Streep has previously spoken out against “disgraceful” Harvey Weinstein following allegations of sexual assault and misconduct from dozens of women in Hollywood.

“The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes,” she said

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