Ashley Graham breaks silence on sexual harassment

Less than 48 hours after the #TimesUp Golden Globes, model Ashley Graham has spoken out about an alleged assault from her early modelling days.

The curvy 30-year-old appeared on popular talk show The View on Tuesday, US time, where she shared her experience as a 17-year-old allegedly being harassed and assaulted by an older, male photographic assistant.

Model Ashley Graham has spoken on television about her experience being allegedly sexually assaulted by a photographic assistant early in her career. Photo: Charles Sykes

Model Ashley Graham has spoken on television about her experience being allegedly sexually assaulted by a photographic assistant early in her career. Photo: Charles Sykes

"He lured me into this hallway, pushed me into a closet," she said. "He exposed himself and he said, 'Look at what you did to me all day long, now touch it.'

"I freaked out and ran out of the closet and prayed no one would find out."

Graham had never before publicly spoken about the incident. She said if the culture towards sexual harassment then had been more supportive of women speaking out, she would have responded differently.

"I would have smacked that guy and been like, 'He's a pedophile,'" she said. "I probably would have just started screaming. I would have called my agency, who knows what would have happened."

Graham made the revelations on the show after a discussion with co-host Whoopi Goldberg about the disgraced photographer Terry Richardson, who is accused of a string of sexual assaults and rape. Richardson has denied the allegations.

Although Graham worked with Richardson numerous times, he never acted inappropriately to her, she said.

"You know the rumours, you've heard them from everyone about him ... and I said yes to the job because you want to work with the best of the best. You want those images in your portfolio. I thought I could be a victim but you don't know walking in ... on set with him it was normal enough but you had that feeling, is he going to ask me to take my shirt off?" she said.

Graham, who was one of the strongest critics of the lack of body diversity in the Victoria's Secret show, said the #metoo movement is effecting dramatic change.

"The movement is working and I feel there are women who are standing up and saying, No .. and I am going to watch out for my sisters on set," she said. "It's my responsibility to have these hard conversations with younger girls."

This story Ashley Graham breaks silence on sexual harassment first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.