At least one Gossip Girl co-star is speaking out in support of Ed Westwick, amid allegations by multiple women that he sexually assaulted them.
Jessica Szohr, whom Westwick shared the screen and a real-life relationship with during their time on the hit CW series, spoke to Cosmpolitan about the accusations lodged against him and seemed to want to give him the benefit of the doubt when it came to his vehement denial that he was guilty of the crimes alleged.
"I have known Ed for years and know how lovely he is, and don't think he would ever put someone in a position like that," Szohr told the magazine. "It's difficult, because you don't want someone you know to go through that or do that to someone, or knowing them well, knowing that you don't think they would, and you don't want, for the girls that are coming forward, it's like, are they stretching the truth?"
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Westwick was accused by actress Kristina Cohen of raping her three years prior to her revelation, after being introduced to him by a producer she'd been dating at the time. He denied the allegation in an Instagram post, writing, "I do not know this woman. I have never forced myself in any manner, on any woman. I certainly have never committed rape."
But her story was then followed up a second actress named Aurélie Wynn who, inspired by Coleman's coming forward, recounted her own attack by the actor and said she'd turned video evidence of her encounter over to the Los Angeles Police Department. A third accuser, a then-assistant named Rachel Eck, also stepped forward to accuse Westwick of sexual assault.
Westwick then again denied the claims on social media, writing, "It is disheartening and sad to me that as a result of two unverified and provably untrue social media claims, there are some in this environment who could ever conclude I had anything to do with such vile and horrific conduct. I have absolutely not, and I am cooperating with the authorities so that they can clear my name as soon as possible."
Szohr, for one, seems to believe he may be able to do just that.Jessica Szohr and Ed Westwick" data-image-credit="WireImage" data-image-alt-text="gettyimages-92343387.jpg" data-image-credit-url="" data-image-target-url="" data-image-title="58734935" data-image-filename="gettyimages-92343387.jpg" data-image-date-created="2017/11/22" data-image-crop="" data-image-crop-gravity="" data-image-aspect-ratio="" data-image-height="3000" data-image-width="2181" data-image-do-not-crop="" data-image-do-not-resize="" data-image-watermark="" data-lightbox="">
She told Cosmo, "I'm glad that there's notice being put on it for women that are going through it. But I also think it's a touchy, crazy thing too, because some people are going into these different situations and they're not coming out true. So it's like, well, why are people making it up, because that takes away from the girls that are going through it. And then it's also hard to go back and try to get evidence from things that were so long ago," she said. "I obviously for any of these situations, wasn't there, for either side, so I can't say it did or didn't happen. But I know him well and I've known him for years, and I found it shocking. And I hope that it's untrue, but I also feel bad for anyone that's been in that situation, for the women that have to deal with that, for the situations that are true."
Szohr added that she had been in contact with Westwick following the deluge of accusations and the resulting suspension of airing his BBC series Ordeal by Innocence and filming on White Gold.
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"He's going through a difficult time. He's being accused of something that he's publicly saying he didn't do. So it's, you know, tough on him. His show got canceled," she told the mag. "You know, he's like, 'The truth will come out and hopefully people see that and hopefully that's it.' It's just such an unfortunate thing all around."
Asked whether she believes the accusers or Westwick, the Gossip Girl star said, "I wasn't there for those situations and I don't know. But if you're asking me 'Do I think he would do that to someone?' No, I don't."