*CONTENT WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT, RAPE*
Cassandra Peterson, best known for her creational and portrayal of horror television host Elvira, has recently published a memoir that accuses ex-NBA player Wilt Chamberlain of sexual assault. The allegations come almost fifty years after the fact, at a time when many celebrities—both male and female—are coming forward with sexual assault cases against some of the most powerful individuals in the entertainment industry.
In an interview with People, Peterson discusses the events that took place when Chamberlain coerced her into giving him oral sex while touring his home. Of the event, she writes, “Why didn’t I try to scream, fight back, or get away? When a seven-foot-one, 300-pound man has his hand wrapped around your neck, there’s really not a lot you can do.” She also understood the misogynistic and unbalanced power dynamic at play as the actress of a very sexualized character going against a superstar athlete. For years, the only person who knew about this assault was her ex-husband, Mark Pierson.
She goes on to say that she blamed herself for a long time following the incident, that perhaps what occurred was her fault for joining Chamberlain at his home. Her revolution comes off the back of the Me Too movement that sparked the takedown of many entertainment heads, who thought they could get away with forcing and tricking individuals into sexual acts for their benefit. Unfortunately, this is not the only case of assault Peterson experienced, but she realizes now that she is a victim, and she is not the reason why such scarring events happened. She hopes that by including these stories in her memoir, she can encourage other women to speak out about their experiences.
Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark was published just last week by Hachette Book Group. The memoir covers the life of actor Cassandra Peterson and her ascent to becoming one of the most iconic horror icons of all time. Peterson discusses the childhood burns that left her needing skin grafts all over her body, her rocky career in entertainment that took her all the way to Italy, and her chance audition to create a character for KHJ-TV’s Movie Macabre.
Interested in some more haunting and thrilling content? Click here for our latest Three to Read for some book recommendations that will certainly spook you to your core.
*If you or anyone you know has been sexually assaulted, know that you are not alone. Click here for resources that can help you or a loved one.*
FEATURED IMAGES VIA NEW YORK POST & HUFFINGTON POST