I joined a theater troupe in January of 2015. As soon as I joined, a girl named Becky offered me a ride home one night and told me about an experience where a guy supposedly raped her at a convention, as casually as she’d describe what she had for breakfast. I was naive. I over-share and I just accepted it. I mention this because it’s relevant in hindsight.
The first accusations I was involved with was levied by Sally against Stuart. Sally and Stuart were in an open relationship. Sally invited me to be involved – but then was dismayed that I wasn’t into girls and spent intimate time with Stuart, and not her. They broke up and she moved to Seattle.
Before she left we went for a walk. She told me this story: Stuart was giving her oral and she, in her own words, ‘forgot the safe word’ and had to push him off and then ran to lock herself in the bedroom. I said that sounded like a terrible experience and I empathized. She said “Yeah. He practically raped me. I mean, he did, he raped me!” and then asked me to warn people in our group about him. By her own words it was not rape, and Stuart contests she ever had to use any kind of force with him.
So she goes to Seattle, and comes back a year later after an extended period of no contact with either of us. She contacts Stuart, and wants to be friends. When I question her, she says she took a lot of acid and had an epiphany, realizing he didn’t rape her.
As of right after the break up, and since then, Sally has been a militant lesbian. Her dislike of men had grown to an outspoken hatred as cliche as sipping tea from a ‘Male Tears’ mug, yet she has contacted Stuart to be friends. Her girlfriend seems to be dismayed that she is hanging out with someone she had previously proclaimed a rapist, but begrudgingly drops her off at our apartment pretty regularly for awhile.
Sally has a severe eating disorder and I am doing my best to be a good friend to her by inviting her out of the house when she seems depressed. This particular night I say to come over for pizza and hard cider, but later state there is no cider, just pizza. She responds she will bring vodka, and does so.
When she arrives she starts pouring shots. She jokingly says she will peer pressure me into drinking with her. I say she’ll have to twist my arm, also joking. We have some shots, and out of no where she climbs on top of me and starts kissing me. I couldn’t get her off of me. I tried to politely push her away, but she pushed back with her full body weight, and I gave into the idea of exploration. Stuart was there, and snapped a photo for the novelty of it. This photo shows her on top of me clearly initiating contact.
We had a threesome that night, went the next day and had lunch by the beach, were in regular contact as friends and going out together for activities for about a month. What changed was that she had told me after our night together she wasn’t interested in Stuart, who I was seeing at the time, and that I had nothing to worry about. Just days after this Stuart informed me she had come over to the house, wanted to cuddle in the bed, and they had ended up fooling around.
I waited a month, hoping she would come to me about it- but she never did. When I eventually confronted her, I simply said I was disappointed she hadn’t told me. Her response was that he had pushed her into it, that she only wanted to cuddle, that she has a hard time saying no, and needs to be better about setting boundaries. I said I understood, but shared the eerie sense of deja vu it gave me with Stuart. She stopped talking to me after that, but stayed in touch with Stuart for another several months.
She stopped talking to him only because I pissed her off badly enough, but that’s another story.
Now, around the time Sally is making her exit from my life a girl involved with the cast who Stuart has previously made out with approaches me to let me know that Stuart was too forceful with her while they were making out, also a month prior, in the theater. I know about them having made out in the theater, and individuals who had seen the occasion described it as not overly forceful to the observer. This girl is Becky, the one who gave me a ride home and described her supposed rape to me when she barely knew me.
I tell Becky that I am sorry for her experience, and that Stuart didn’t realize if it had made her uncomfortable, encouraged her to talk to him. She agreed she would but never did. Much later, text messages surface in which Becky describes the night at the time of it happening as a misunderstanding and describes Stuart as “Sweet but bad at the things.” She says “I didn’t know how to turn him down.” Never once until the day they kicked him out in their mock trial did the accusation of him forcing her to touch his dick get tacked on. But that’s later.
In the meantime, after saying she would speak with him, but before his day in not-court, came the review of George. George is a self-proclaimed Asshole, who plays the persona of a jerk who is all bark and no bite. People don’t like this, and despite our motto of ‘if you’re offended, fuck you – go home’ they bring him up for review over it, slipping into the middle of their charges that he has ‘inappropriately touched’ people at the show.
When pressed (by me because no one else cared – in Becky’s own words, it ‘wasn’t supposed to be a big deal’) inappropriate touching actually referred to an incident FOUR YEARS PRIOR in which George had licked Becky’s back as an “ew gross” type joke. Also, the complaint included him picking up a cast member who, when questioned, was not upset by it at the time or presently and was confused as to why she had to be involved in the hearing.
At this point I questioned Becky firmly. She refused to acknowledge that her accusations against George did not constitute sexual assault. George was removed from cast over the whole ordeal. That’s when I quit.
But Stuart stayed on and faced his own firing squad when the opposition posed to George’s cases landed him in the same position – now facing those charges Becky had brought up, and continuously inflated in every instance of doing so. He was removed from cast as well, and we were both banned. A gem of this event was him being told that “Becky has a history of being sensitive, so you should have known better than to make out with here.” Going to real court? No thanks. Holding a mock one sided trial in private? Well it’s worked so far….
So we move on with our lives, but won’t shut up about it. I eventually got a hair up my ass and posted publicly on yelp that this venue has had a rash of unsubstantiated claims of assault and it’s not necessarily the safest place to be for that reason.
This pissed people off.
For a moment, all was quiet. Then on June 2nd I receive a text. “Have fun in prison bitch.”
Sally has come forward to the troupe to accuse us of having forced ourselves upon her, held her down and raped her while she was intoxicated. When the picture’s existence showing her as the aggressor became known, the story quickly changed to “intoxicated can’t consent.” Since the text messages proving she brought the alcohol and stated her intent have been revealed the group has simply dug in their heels and refused to acknowledge their existence or relevance.
In reality, by their standards, Sally raped ME. And she’s turned that around in the most sickening way. This story is bizarre and paints a clear picture of the mentally disturbed individuals who have leveraged these issues for personal and extremely petty gain.
There are others in the community aware of these goings on. Some are afraid to speak. Some are satisfied to watch the cast implode.
I am not.
All the best,