Actress Anika Noni Rose says she was assaulted on an airplane last year by her seatmate and she is struggling to get justice from the FBI.
During an interview on SiriusXM’s Make It Plan With Mark Thompson, The Quad actress detailed her horrifying ordeal.
“I have never spoken of this, but I will say this out loud now: I was assaulted on a plane last year. And I haven’t been able to get this person’s name; they won’t give me the name of the person.”
Anika Noni Rose said she did tell authorities and a handful of her friends, but this was her first time talking about the assault publicly. She was asleep when the her seatmate’s assault awakened her. She notified a flight attendant who offered to turn the plane around and have the unruly passenger removed. Rose initially declined the offer, but then changed her mind once the assailant’s behavior continued to raise eyebrows.
“I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do with myself. Yes, please turn the plane around.’ I was shaking. I was so upset and so hurt and angry. Like, angry. I wanted to punch that man, and I knew that that would take away from the story that I had to tell. I had to hold in everything that I was feeling to be able to tell this story and be heard and taken seriously from the place I was in. It’s been…interesting.”
The man was eventually removed from the plane, but Rose’s efforts to obtain the identity of her assailant have so far been in vain.
“There’s a Freedom of Information act. You’re supposed to be able to get people’s names. I made a report right then with the FBI and they dropped it…I can honestly say that I have not done much with it. I made my report. I followed up with the police, like I was told to do. The police did nothing.”
Rose said the airline is apparently “not allowed” to give her the identity of the passenger. The amount of care that is taken to protect perpetrators is vastly heavier and stronger than the amount of care that is taken to protect victims.”
She noted that you don’t have to be a Hollywood actress to be a victim of assault and that the #Metoo movement is not just for celebrities.
“I was a woman asleep on a plane. I wasn’t dressed up. I wasn’t fancy. I actually looked like I was probably in school, and somebody felt free to touch me in that moment. You don’t have to be in Hollywood. You don’t have to be dressed up. You don’t have to be a siren. I was on a plane, in a skullcap, looking like a kid, basically, and this person felt free to touch me. It is mind-blowing.”
Anika Noni Rose took a photo of her assailant and hopes to find the man and identify legal recourse.
Listen to the entire interview below.