Attributing his courage to Ellen Page, Daniel Franzese opened up in a deeply personal Facebook post detailing times when actress Bijou Phillips repeatedly harassed him verbally and physically. Franzese and Phillips starred in the 2001 film Bully together, where he says she tormented him during promotional shoots for the video and on set.
“She body shamed me and ridiculed me about my sexuality and physically assaulted me. I was scared and closeted and feared for my job. It started with a lot of eye rolling whenever we spoke but escalated when we did a cast shoot for the poster. As we were shooting she kept loudly saying ‘Are you gay?!’ and laughing while the producers and photographer did nothing to stop her but some of my cast like Michael Pitt and Brad Renfro kept telling her to shut up but she continued to say ‘Are You Gay?!’ Like 10 times making sure to be loud enough for everyone to hear. I reluctantly told her I was bi. Which at the time was how I was choosing to identify as “Q” wasn’t known to be an option yet…”
Franzese says that when he arrived on set the next day she yelled, “Oh look! The bi guy is here!” and the incidents escalated from there. During a scene where Franzese’s character takes his shirt off he says he was body-shamed by Phillips and had to leave set to collect himself. Later, during a faux apology, Phillips said Franzese reminded her for Carnie Wilson. “It was meant to be an insult,” he wrote. “She then grabbed my nipple and twisted it hard through my shirt and laughed and walked away. I stopped talking to her for the rest of the filming.” Perhaps Franzese will inspire others as Ellen Page inspired him.
Read his full Facebook post, here.