Rachel Zegler Explains How Constantly Being Asked About Ansel Elgort’s Accusations Affected Her Mental Health


The legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg returned to theaters with his acclaimed take on West Side Story. The movie was a critical hit, and was nominated (and won) a number of honors throughout Awards Season. But there was a controversy surrounding the project due to the accusations made against Tony actor Ansel Elgort. And now his co-star Rachel Zegler explains how constantly being asked about said accusations during the press tour affected her mental health.

Back in 2020, Ansel Elgort was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old in 2014. He denied this, claiming the relationship was consensual. Following this, a Twitter user claimed Elgort sent her nude photos when she was under age. This came after West Side Story had wrapped filming, and was a cloud that seemed to follow the movie’s press tour. Rachel Zegler was asked about the accusations a number of times, recently opened up to Elle about how hard it was at the time. As the Golden Globe winning actress explained,

It was a real gut punch, honestly. I reverted back to this brain space I was in [back in] June of 2020, when the accusation surfaced. We were in the middle of the first wave of lockdown, and there was nothing to do but doom-scroll. Those days were some of the worst mental health days I’ve ever had. I was sitting there having just turned 19, on the precipice of what was promised to be the biggest moment in my life, and was being held accountable [by the public] for accusations that not only had nothing to do with me but were made about a situation that was said to have occurred [five] years prior to when I had met and worked with this person. With no thought to the fact that I was also 17 when I met this person, 17 when I worked with them, 17 and 18 when I had to do love scenes.

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