Actress Karla Souza claimed in an interview Tuesday with CNN en Espanol that an unnamed director violently attacked and raped her early in her career during a month-long shoot.
The Mexico-born How to Get Away With Murder actress said the alleged assault occurred in her hotel room while she was filming on location in Mexico and was the result of consistent humiliation and a “total abuse of power” committed against her by her anonymous attacker.
“He knocked on my door saying he wanted to go over some scenes and I thought, ‘It’s 2 a.m., it’s not appropriate and it’s something that shouldn’t be happening,’” the ABC star recalled. “He decided not to shoot my scene … He suddenly started to humiliate me in front of the others on set. This was the psychological control that he held over me.”
“I ended up yielding to him to kiss me, to touch me in ways I did not want him to touch me,” Souza Claimed. “In one of those instances, he violently assaulted me and yes, he raped me.”
Late Tuesday, Mexican network Televisa issued a statement announcing that it has severed ties with writer-director Gustavo Loza, whom Souza previously worked with on several projects in 2010, 2012, and on the hit 2016 romance comedy Don’t Blame the Kid.
“Following the public accusations about sexual abuse from actress Karla Souza, and after a preliminary investigation, Televisa has decided to immediately sever its (working) relationship with Mr. Gustavo Loza,” the company’s statement read, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “Mr. Loza is not an employee of Televisa, but has collaborated with the company on projects over the years. We want to express our solidarity with Karla Souza and our goodwill disposition so that the legal process has the appropriate consequences. Televisa will not tolerate behavior like the one reported.”
Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Loza denied the accusations against him, writing, “I deny any accusation against me by Televisa, who has accused me without foundation regarding the case of the alleged rape reported by @KarlaSouza7, [one] I deeply regret and openly condemn.”
Me deslindo de toda acusación en mi contra por parte de @NTelevisa_com y de @DeniseMaerker quienes el día de hoy me han acusado sin fundamento referente al caso de la presunta violación denunciada por @KarlaSouza7 lo cual lamento profundamente y condeno abiertamente.
— Gustavo Loza (@gusloza) February 21, 2018