Karla Souza
Karla Souza, known for her role as Laurel Castillo in “How to Get Away With Murder,” has accused a Mexican director of rape. In this photo, the actress attends XQ Super School Live at Barker Hangar on Sept. 8, 2017 in Santa California. Getty Images/Neilson Barnard

Another male figure from Hollywood has been accused of sexual misconduct. “How to Get Away With Murder” star Karla Souza has pointed her finger at a Mexican director and accused him of raping her during the early stages of her career.

Souza shared her painful ordeal on Tuesday with CNN en Español, although she did not name the director. “I had just started my career, and they introduced me to all of these producers, and that’s where the manipulation began of ‘You owe me one,’” she said.

“So they start to put that in your head, they’ll tell you things like, ‘Oh, you know, I’m having to push for you. You haven’t made a name for yourself, but I know that you’re great. I know that you’re going to show me that you’re great,’” she continued. “I’m saying it like this but it’s all said in a very relaxing setting, but they’re little seeds that are red flags that back then I wasn’t educated on this to know what this person was doing. This is a very charismatic person, who has a great career.”

Souza had a sinking feeling that something wasn’t right when she and the director were placed in one hotel, while the rest of the cast and crew were billeted someplace else. The director’s “inappropriate” behaviour started when he would knock on her door at 2 a.m. just so they could go over lines. Sometimes, he just wanted to talk.

Despite the red flags, Souza said she did not have the option to reject him. When she did, the director would hit back by treating her badly on set.

“He would insult me in front of the cast. This was his form of psychological control that he had with me. At the same time, he was charming and if I opened the door he was great with me. But he was very insistent and would even send me messages,” she shared. “After a month of his abuse and under his control, I sort of gave up and I let him kiss me and touch me in ways that I didn’t want him to.”

“In one of the instances, he violently attacked me, and yes, he raped me. I’m sorry it's hard for me,” she tearfully said.

After her interview, Souza’s co-star Viola Davis sent her a word of encouragement on Twitter.

Souza herself felt proud to share her story as part of the Time’s Up initiative in Hollywood.