As the cast and crew (with one notable exception–more on that in a moment) of West Side Story continue to promote the film and push for awards nominations, three of the movie’s stars have weighed in on the sexual assault allegations made against their co-star, Ansel Elgort.
The accusations first arose in June 2020, after filming was complete, when a woman identified as “Gabby” on social media accused the actor of having a sexual relationship with her when she was 17 and he was 20.
Gabby recalled an uncomfortable sexual encounter with Elgort, in which she claimed she lost her virginity. She also alleged that he asked her for nude photos and to have a threesome.
Elgort denied the allegations on social media, saying the pair had a “brief, legal and entirely consensual.” He also admitted that he “did not handle the breakup well” and eventually ghosted the teenager.
Both posts from Gabby and Elgort have since been deleted.
This week, Rita Moreno, Rachel Zegler, and Ariana DeBose participated in a story on Latina women in Hollywood for The Hollywood Reporter. When asked about the allegations against Elgort, all three women didn’t hesitate to answer.
Their answers, however, left many scratching their heads.
“We made a movie two and a half years ago, and a lot has gone on in the world since then,” Zegler said of Elgort, who plays her love interest.
She continued, “A lot has changed very publicly, and privately as well. There’s been a lot of awakening. You just hope that the people involved are OK, that they are asked in a respectful manner, and that they are given the opportunity to answer for themselves.”
“Nobody really knows what’s going on in anyone’s head,” DeBose added. “Only the people who were involved in that situation know what actually went down.”
But perhaps most surprisingly, and the most disappointing, response came from Moreno, herself a survivor of sexual assault.
“I think it would have been absolutely horrendous and wrong for anyone to take sides in that matter,” she said. “It’s not for me to make those judgments.”
Ansel Elgort has largely avoided doing press for West Side Story despite playing the lead in the film. Director Steven Speilberg has also refused to comment on the allegations against the star.