Jessica Alba was 'preyed upon' as a young actress in Hollywood: 'Nothing about being successful in this business is easy'

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Jessica Alba says she had to protect herself growing up in Hollywood.

At the Goop Health Summit, the 38-year-old actress turned Honest Company mogul said she was “preyed upon” by men to the point where it impacted what she wore and ate.

Alba, who started acting when she was 12 and went on to appear in the Sin City and Fantastic Four franchises, said at Gwyneth Paltrow’s event over the weekend that her family members encouraged her not to wear Pepe Jeans because she was “voluptuous” and had a “booty.” She said she was “meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men.”

That led Alba to stop “eating a lot, when I became an actress. I made myself look more like a boy so I wouldn’t get as much attention.”

She said she felt “preyed upon” by men in her early years in the business, saying, “Nothing about being successful in this business is easy.” However she added, You can’t be bitter.”

Last year, Alba— who has three children with Cash Warren, whom she married in 2008 — said the #MeToo Movement was long overdue. She told CNN she was sexually harassed “all the time” as a young actress.

"Of course I have,” she said. “All the time along the way. As a young actress growing up in the business, you just accepted that that's the way you were going to be treated.”

She added, “I mean, I've been doing this since I was 12. Imagine what that's like."

In the same interview, she noted that she avoided being on Harvey Weinstein’s accuser list. While his Weinstein Company produced her 2005 film Awake, "I never was ever alone with him in any jobs that I did. I was with groups of people and it was always at premieres and things like that, so I was never in a situation where it was just one on one.”

Alba was 18 when she started dating her Dark Angel co-star Michael Weatherly, who was 12 years her senior. They became engaged, but called things off in 2003. Weatherly was accused of sexually harassing Eliza Dushku, who was hired to play his love interest on Bull in 2017.

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