Speed Reads

'gut punch'

Rachel Zegler says it was 'wildly disappointing' she had to 'answer for' Ansel Elgort after assault allegations

Rachel Zegler is ready to move on from Ansel Elgort questions. 

In an interview with Elle, the West Side Story actress discussed her co-star, Elgort, being accused of sexual assault, saying it was "wildly disappointing" that people demanded she "answer for" his actions when he's an "adult male who can speak for himself." 

In 2020, Elgort was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 2014. He denied the allegations, saying they had a "brief, legal, and entirely consensual relationship." The accusations emerged after Elgort had already shot West Side Story, in which he and Zegler play the film's central couple, Tony and Maria. In January, Zegler addressed the accusations in a Hollywood Reporter interview with co-stars Rita Moreno and Ariana DeBose. 

But Zegler told Elle being asked questions about Elgort was a "gut punch," and she said she had "some of the worst mental health days" of her life when the allegations emerged. 

"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," Zegler said. "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." 

She also said it was "really hurtful" that people didn't seem to care "about whether or not I was okay," though she added she "cannot imagine" what Elgort's accuser went through. 

Now that West Side Story's release and Oscar campaign have passed, though, Zegler told Elle, "I really don't have anything to do with this conversation, and I'm looking forward to moving past it."