In the wake of the #MeToo movement shedding light on the widespread abuse within the entertainment industry, Karla Souza has come forward about her own abusive experience.
Early in her career, Souza alleges that an unnamed director harassed and eventually raped her during a one-month shoot in Mexico.
The 32-year-old Mexican actress, in an interview with Carmen Aristegui on CNN en Espanol, recalled how she was made to stay in a separate hotel away from her co-stars. The director would then inappropriately try to meet her by making his way into her hotel room in the middle of the night.
"He knocked at my door saying he wanted to go over some scenes and I thought it's 2am, it's not appropriate and it's something that shouldn't be happening."
Souza explained how the director used a Jekyll-and-Hyde approach to gain a kind of "psychological control" over her. He remained "charming" and treated her kindly – but that was until Souza tried to avoid his advances.
"The next day he decided not to shoot my scene and then he suddenly started to humiliate me in front of the others on the set."
After her fellow cast members were made aware of the director's interest in her, Souza said she was praised for "taming the wolf".
The actress referred to the experience as a "total abuse of power" as she went on to deal with his behaviour for a one-month-period before he eventually raped her.
"I ended up giving in to him [to let him] kiss me, to touch me in ways I did not want him to touch me and in one of those instances, he attacked me violently and, yes, he raped me," she said.
The actress explained that she could not speak out at the time as she feared that it would lead to her being blacklisted and her career would be jeopardised.
Her torment at the hands of the unnamed director is one of many such cases that have come to light since multiple allegations of sexual misconduct emerged last year against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Souza, who is best known for her role as Laurel Castillo in the legal drama series How To Get Away With Murder, has been outspoken about her support for feminism and cultural diversity in the media.
In 2017, she received the Impact award for Outstanding Performance in a Television Series from the National Hispanic Media Coalition.