Ashley Graham Speaks Out Again About Her Own Sexual Harassment Experience

The 30-year-old has opened up about her own experience of sexual harassment while on a photoshoot aged just 17.

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In light of the Time's Up initiative and #MeToo movement, model Ashley Graham has finally spoken out about her own experiences of sexual harassment in a bid to encourage men and women in all industries to have the bravery to stand up against abuse.

On Tuesday's episode of The View, the American beauty briefly discussed the sexual misconduct allegations against photographer Terry Richardson with whom she's worked with in the past.

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'We did work together when I was 17, 18 years old and it is unfortunate all of the allegations that are coming out,' Graham told the hosts of the ABC talk show.

In recent months, several models have come forward with sexual assault and harassment allegations against the 52-year-old, claims which Richardson denies.

Describing her own experience on set with Richardson, Graham said she was aware of the rumours about Richardson's alleged inappropriate behaviour.

'I got the call to do the job. Of course, you know the rumours, you've heard them from everyone about him,' she explained. 'I said "yes" to the job because you want to work with the best of the best. You want those images in your portfolio.

When questioned whether she considered whether she was putting herself in danger working with Richardson, she said: 'Of course. I knew I could be a victim, who knows?'

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'But you don't know walking into it because you also have people who praise him. You have people who say, 'he's an amazing person'. On set with him, it was nice and normal enough. But of course, you have that feeling of, "is he going to ask me to take my shirt off?"'

However, she detailed another incident on set with a photo assistant early on in her career who pulled her aside and exposed himself during a big campaign shoot.

'He lured me into this hallway, pushed me into a closet,' she described.

'He exposed himself and he said, "look at what you did to me all day long, now touch it",' Graham recalled.

Admitting she 'freaked out' following the shoot, she said she prayed no one would find out about what had happened for fear of losing her career.

'I thought to me, "I'm never going to be hired for a job again. I'm going to be the difficult model and nobody's going to want to work with me if they know that something like that happened",' she continued.

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Now, the 30-year-old admits she's aware of the importance of speaking out when you're treated in a way that makes you feel threatened, both in and outside of the work place.

During the show, she revealed that if she'd known then what she knows now, following the countless stories of women in recent months talking about their own assault and harassment stories, she would have responded differently.

'I would have smacked that guy and been like, "he's a pedophile",' she said.

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'I probably would have just started screaming. I would have called my agency, who knows what would have happened.'

Not only would she speak out for herself, but also for her co-workers.

Referring to the ongoing protests against inequality and abuse in wider society, Graham added, 'the movement is working … I really feel like there's women who are standing up and saying no, me too, and I'm going to watch out for my sisters on set'.

This isn't the first time Graham has revealed her experiences of sexual assault.

People reports that the book, A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like, details the moment her parents' friends' 18-year-old son approached her while they were drying off after swimming in the pool and made her touch his penis without consent.

Graham says the incident 'left me with so many lingering questions'.

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