Stella Dimoko Actress Gabriel Union Says Talking About Her Rape Makes Her Want To ''Vomit''


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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Actress Gabriel Union Says Talking About Her Rape Makes Her Want To ''Vomit''

In The Birth of a Nation, Gabrielle Union's character Esther remains silent after her sexual assault at the hands of a slave owner. Offscreen, Union vows to do the opposite about her own rape. 

Speaking at a Q&A for the drama, which recounts the 1831 slave uprising led by Nat Turner, at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, Union reflected on her own sexual assault.

"When I was 19, laying on the floor after being raped on the floor of a Payless shoe store at gunpoint, I decided never again," Union said. "I decided I was going to use my celebrity, my platform ... to talk about the horrors of sexual violence and what it does to your soul and to your psyche and to your sanity and to your family and to your relationships."

Although her role is small and comes with no lines, Union said, "I thought it was more important to be the symbol that people can recognize to put the face to voicelessness and powerlessness that sexual assault leaves us with."

"And there's a scene where [Colman Domingo, who portrays Esther's husband Hank Turner] is literally waiting for his wife who has been snatched away from him to be used and abused," she explained. "And he's waiting there for her to welcome her back in. And so many of us have not been welcomed back in and I needed people to see that, that is real, there is hope, there is faith, you are not broken or forsaken... There is a community that will love you, and that is what I have received from Hollywood."

Union, 43, said that thinking about her rape often makes her want to "vomit." Still, she promised to continue to be vocal and raise awareness.

"My personal discomfort is nothing compared to being a voice for people who feel absolutely voiceless and powerless," she said. "We all want a lot of things, but the only thing we can control is ourselves. If there's any message I could get out to anyone who's ever sat in my seat, is: You are not broken, you are not alone, you have a tremendous amount of support whether you speak out or you keep your pain personal, you are real, you are valid, you are loved, and you are worthwhile."

The discussion closely followed Birth of a Nation director, actor and producer Nate Parker's comments about his own involvement in a 1999 college rape case, which has received renewed interest following the revelation that his accuser committed suicide in 2012.

Parker and his friend Jean Celestin – who is listed as a collaborator on Birth of a Nation– were accused by a female classmate at Penn State University of sexual assault. Parker was charged, tried and subsequently acquitted. Celestin was charged and convicted, but his case was later overturned on an appeal after the accuser decided not to testify.

Parker, now 36, said earlier this summer that he was "filled with profound sorrow" when he learned about the woman's death.

Asked Sunday why he never apologized to his accuser, Parker told a reporter, "I've addressed this a few times and I'm sure I'll continue to address it in different ways moving forward."

He noted earlier during the event that "we had over 400 people involved in this project," and encouraged the focus be moved to them, rather than his personal life.

Union previously promised she would not take allegations against Parker "lightly," writing in The Los Angeles Times, "Since Nate Parker's story was revealed to me, I have found myself in a state of stomach-churning confusion."

The actress said that she has read all 700 pages of Parker's trial transcript, admitting, "I still don't actually know. Nor does anyone who was not in that room."

Birth of a Nation opens in theaters Oct. 7.

People Cullage

*na wah,i just felt sad reading this...Rape can really push some people to kill themselves.


  1. Rape,abuse and violence
    Three things that could change ur life forever๐Ÿ˜ฉ

    1. If its possible to take pills to permanently block such sad memories,lots of people will take it.

  2. Slow news day? Lazy woman!

    1. Lol. Stella the trolls love you. Welcome to the Lazy life on SDK. Join us on the sunny side of life.

      The sunny side is guaranteed to keep you happy and wipe your ENDLESS sorrows away!

      Stay glued

    2. Lazy woman??? Haba, why are humans like this? Will she go and create news or bring a boring item as news? God will forgive you o.

    3. Quality over quantity! Lounge with us OK? Hating kills.

  3. Rape is a very sad experience, glad she was able to move on. It only takes the Grace of God and courage to come out of it, so many people die out of this act called Rape

  4. Rape? I don't pray for it for my enemy.
    Her dressing in this pics tho!
    Like they just harassed her and she was forced to take a picture to file a police report.
    Women, learn how to dress to suit your figure,and not everything you see you want to try on...
    See her forming sexy by force.
    Bitches and whores won't criticise her dressing cos it's hollywood. Hypocrites!

    1. HaaahaaahaaahaaaHaaahaaahaaahaaa!! Clown!
      But on a serious note you are correct. This her outfit no am.

  5. I pray it never happens to me, my sister, my cousins ND my friends including my children God will protect us.

  6. Exactly stella...I just thank God about my life...thank God the devil didn't succeed

  7. Eya......No lady or even man should go through the trauma of Rape.

  8. Just imagine raping girls in school as a young boy then coming out into the world to realize what a demon you were.
    Funny thing is that one day, someone you raped might recognize you.

    That rape scene from "For colored girls" gave me nightmares.... The worst was when that abusive man tossed his kids from the window of their building ๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿผ

  9. I would have given my life experience, ermm... But, d internet never forgets, especially those here. Bvs can keep record for Africa. Make I Sufri keep quiet. Ibukun dear, Hafa na?

  10. Awww! I understand how you feel honey... E-hugs

  11. It is so sad. Aww

  12. Replies
    1. I don't know why but this your comment sounds very funny to me๐Ÿ˜‚

  13. Its a sad experience cos you are even afraid to speak. You feel as if u are covered with shame. Thank God i recovered.

  14. I think Stella should do an anonymous post on rape incidents. So people can learn a thing or two. Who is with me?

    1. Stella, I hope you don't take this clown seriously. The woman up there said the thought of it makes her want to vomit and that's what you want others to come relive here? Na wa.

    2. Don't be daft...talking about it can be therapeutic to some people so lay off for the suggestion. It's worth doing

    3. Anon 10:37, 1) I'm not a clown 2) don't be surprised that people who are victims which to talk but the fear of stigmatized is the beginning of wisdom in Nigeria( don't mind me)3) reading through other peoples experiences can help SOMEONE avert another occurrence.4)finally,I asked for people who supported this notion not people who are against it;i don't need you on this register. In conclusion, who is still with me?


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