After Harvey Weinstein’s mischievous and deplorable behavior toward female actresses and staff in the movie industry became the centerpiece of all Hollywood news years ago, it signaled the existence of other notable names that were guilty of the same. Former Disney star Maitland Ward has been the victim of one such actor who hit on her way too young.
As a teen actress during the 1990s, the 16-year-old Maitland Ward would land a dream role in The Bold and the Beautiful, a television soap opera. She now reveals that the set of the TV series was a breeding ground for her co-star Dylan Neal’s attempts to groom the actress who was a minor at the time.
Maitland Ward Says She Was Groomed By Dylan Neal On Set
Working in an industry like Hollywood from as early as 16 years of age, all the while dealing with your own problems during adolescence can be a pretty mentally taxing task.
The then 16-year-old Maitland Ward’s life was taking a drastic turn in her acting career after securing a role as Jessica Forrester alongside co-star Dylan Neal who played the heartthrob Dylan Shaw.
Neal was 24 years of age at the time, and it wouldn’t be any surprise that the man who plays the heartthrob character is dashingly handsome, and he was. Ward reveals that his looks and charisma immediately charmed her back then.
But in a recent interview with Page Six, the now 45-year-old actress reveals that although she was obsessed with Neal at the time, she also believes it was because she was put into such a place of mind by her co-star-
“Looking back now, it was kind of a grooming situation. And not necessarily for him to ever, like, actually have sex with me or anything — but to do things to lead me on and become very attached to him and only him.”
“I thought it was like, ‘Oh, he really likes me, he thinks I’m so great.’ He was very much a pull-and-push kind of person. He would lure me in and we’d do fun things together and then he would push me away and be like, ‘What are you doing? Why are you like this?’”
Predatory behavior even by leading actors on movie sets and the industry in general have been a huge problem for Hollywood. The Weinstein case, although much more extreme, is a very clear example of the horrors that one has to endure to become a big shot in the industry.
Maitland Ward Reveals Details Of Co-Star Dylan Neal’s Problematic Antics
In her newly released memoir called Rated X: How Porn Liberated Me from Hollywood, Maitland Ward further details her experience on the set of The Bold and the Beautiful with Dylan Neal, and it’s pretty gross.
The Boy Meets World star claims that her relationship with Neal at the time was a “strange” one, and the latter’s response to seeing her innocence and naivety in the industry was what you could call “problematic” today-
“It was my first time in Hollywood. I got the show on my second audition and he was older than me, but he came off as like he just wanted to be this big brother figure — but in an inappropriate way that I’m looking back on now.”
Ward states that she didn’t realize what Neal was up to at the time, she continued-
“Dylan took my on-screen virginity … and it was something he talked about — no, more like bragged constantly about — and prided himself in. He kept commenting to hair and makeup how I was too done up, and I didn’t look sweet enough or innocent. ‘It’s her first time; you don’t want her to look like she gets around.’”
It’s not surprising to hear that such an incident was endured by Maitland Ward for such a long time. The culture in the industry back then wasn’t as progressive as it is today, and when we look at Neal’s behavior towards Ward from a modern lens- it just looks straight-up deplorable, and at the best annoying.
Source: Page Six