Raped At Age 14, ‘Harry Potter’ Actress Asserts That She Is Not Defined By What Her Tennis Coach Did To Her
Jessie Cave – who played Ron Weasley’s love interest, Lavender Brown, in the final three Harry Potter films – has just released a podcast with her actress sister, Bebe Cave titled, ‘We Can’t Talk About That Right Now’. During the 44 minute episode, the sisters talk about wanting to be honest, Jessie’s pregnancy, social media expression as well as the loss of their brother. And at around the half-hour point, Cave mentions what happened to her at age 14. In a rather odd fashion, the 33-year-old actress made the shocking revelation while joking about who had the worst childhood –
“Come on — I was raped. I get the trump card.”
The ‘Harry Potter’ actress shared that while acne and braces (which is what Bebe went through) are bad, “rape at 14 is pretty bad”. She revealed that it was her tennis coach that violated her – someone she “trusted” and who was “in a position of power.’ Thankfully, Cave revealed that her rapist was sent to jail for what he did but that the experience did change her. Addressing her sister, she says,
“My rape did mean that I had a completely different adolescence and early twenties to you because, in retrospect, I was still recovering and my sexual journey was a completely abnormal road to yours. I think that there are still consequences from that period of time that I’m only realising 18 years later, and actually, the more time I have away from it – this is going to sound awful – but I do feel quite lucky in so many ways that I had a rape that was actually… it didn’t destroy me, and I think that’s something that people don’t talk about enough with sexual abuse and trauma. There are some people that are okay after, there are some people that do use it and find a way of living with it and definitely are not defined by it.”
In an Instagram post following the release of the podcast, Cave shared that if there is something that’s even positive from her experience, it’s the fact it didn’t destroy her. In fact, that is why she was able to talk about it with her sister with a casual tone and manner.
“The thing I need to say is…. I am not a victim and was not defined by what happened as a girl. I am okay and I can talk about it, even laugh about it, carry it with me and use it. I have done so extensively and publically in past writing.”
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I released my first podcast with my sister yesterday. We talk about silly things like our outfit choices and differences in style, cake and weight and the acting industry, our love languages, photo collages and the dangers of Soy. As is natural when having a casual chat with a sibling, you can be talking about how much cake you ate one second and the next be talking about more serious things like teenage rape. Mine, in particular. And some people chose to focus in on this….. The thing I need to say is…. I am not a victim and was not defined by what happened as a girl. I am okay and I can talk about it, even laugh about it, carry it with me and use it. I have done so extensively and publically in past writing, my show Sunrise for example, even talked about it on other people’s podcasts about mental health and love. I bring it up casually (without trigger warnings because I forget and don’t really understand them) because it’s just a part of me and has been for over half of my life. But our podcast was not about that! By picking up this as the main theme / it makes me scared to be as open and honest in the future, which is unhelpful for people who might benefit from hearing stories about post-traumatic growth. This weekend I will be writing a piece for my patreon page about this. Right now, on Instagram, while I’m happy and oblivious, all I wanted to say is…. be careful what you read and watch your back. Love xxx
Of what their life at home was like afterwards, Cave makes it a point to talk about (ironically) how “it was something that wasn’t really talked about, but it was obviously like, something bad had happened to Jessie and that’s why she’s being a complete b****.” The actress and artist has previously spoken about being raped in her stand-up shows, and told The Times in 2018:
“I had to really consider whether it was worth it, whether it was necessary and if it was going to be good for me. And weirdly, it has been cathartic.”
Jessie Cave joined the ‘ Harry Potter’ phenomenon after beating 7,000 girls for the role of ‘Lavender Brown’ and made her first appearance in the 2009 movie, ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’. At the moment, Cave is in a relationship with comedian Alfie Brown, and they are expecting their third child together.
Watch the full episode here:
*Cover image credits: Jessie Cave's Instagram