Like other celebrities before her, Camila Mendes opened up about her traumatic experience with sexual assault. The “Riverdale” star said that it happened at a time in her life when she was looking for a sense of home or stability.
Before landing the much-coveted role of Veronica Lodge in the CW series “Riverdale,” Mendes was just your typical girl who struggled through school and in finding a steady group of friends. She moved around a lot during her childhood years because of her parents’ separation and her father’s work. She said it was “a bit traumatic” to have to always say goodbye to people and to an environment when you start to feel connected with them.
The constant move brought Mendes from her prep school in Plantation, Florida to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her first year there was hard and traumatic to say the least, since it was where she was sexually assaulted.
Mendes, now 25, did not expound on the details surrounding the assault, but the experience left an imprint. Since then, she vowed to find things or situations that would make her life feel safe and comfortable. She even has a tattoo that says “to build a home” on the right side of her chest to encourage and strengthen her.
The tattoo likewise means finding stability or a sense of home, which Mendes says she has always wanted to have since she moved 12 times before she turned 18. She creates stability in her habits and these include sticking to the same cafes, exercise studios, or hotels whenever she travels, which creates a safe environment for the actress and somehow a place to call home.
Mendes’ revelation comes after her fellow “Riverdale” star Lili Reinhart opened up about her own experience with sexual assault during the height of the #MeToo movement. Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper, took to Tumblr where she recalled feeling “completely violated” when a former co-worker tried to force himself on her.