NEW: She was a 14-year-old actor in Vancouver. He was an Oscar-winner in his 20s. Lauren Johnston says that in 1983, Timothy Hutton raped her in his hotel room as his friend watched.https://t.co/CK1rnP6RRM— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) March 2, 2020
Former Canadian model Sera Johnston, who now goes by Lauren, has come forward with her account of how when she was 14-years-old, actor Timothy Hutton raped her.
In 1983, Sera Johnston was hanging out with two junior high friends and goofing off when Hutton and his friends noticed them and invited them to dine with them. The actor was in town to film Iceman. After chatting, the men invited the girls to their hotel room to party with them. Johnston says she initially told them she was 17 but eventually confessed to being 14 which "delighted them" (apparently back in 1983, 14 was the age of consent in Canada). Johnston, who was also a child actor, admired Hutton at the time, recognizing him from Ordinary People. After offering them all drinks in the room, Hutton managed to get Johnston alone in his bedroom along with a friend of his.
Johnston recalls saying things like “I don’t think this is a good idea” and “I don’t think my mother would be too happy about this.” But every time she would start to protest, they would tell her, "It’ll be OK, it’ll be OK. It won’t last long, and you’ll be fine.”
[TW: Details of the Rape]She remembers being frozen with fear when Hutton was kissing her neck. Remembers Hutton and his friend "almost ritualistic[ally]" talking about what they'd do to her as they undressed her “like a doll...I just lay there very rigid. I remember being really cold.”
She recollects Hutton undressing, getting on top of her, and thrusting inside her. That's when she started begging, “Please, don’t do this. I can’t do it. I can’t.” Hutton ignored her begging, told her she'd like it, and that his friend was going to watch. “It hurt like hell,” Johnston said. “I mean, it was very painful. God. Yeah, it was extremely painful. Horrible, horrible, absolutely horrible.”
At one point, Hutton went to get Vaseline for lubricant. During that time, Hutton’s friend, put his erect penis into her mouth. “He got it in a couple of times. And I said, ‘You have to tell him that he can’t!’” She started to cry.
Then Hutton told his friend, “‘She doesn’t like that,’ or whatever. Meanwhile, he finished raping me.”
-Johnston didn't want to go to the police because she wanted to put it behind her and initially blamed herself. "It was a bad sexual experience, you know? That's what it was. It was just a really bad first experience, and that'll never happen again. I looked at it, like, I've really fucked up. Like, really fucked up. If my mom finds out, I will be in huge trouble."
-When her mother found out, she took her to the hospital for a checkup and pregnancy test and then to a psychiatrist. Johnston's mother consulted the psychiatrist about pressing charges, but they decided it'd "probably be worse for [Johnston] if [she] pursued it." As someone who worked in the industry, she believed she'd never work again as it would be a "14-year-old nothing" vs a "big-time movie star". But now she regrets not pursuing it.
-When contacted by BuzzFeed News, one of Johnston's junior high friends corroborated the account of them being in Hutton's hotel room and recalls seeing Johnston going off with Hutton and his friend. Though she did not see the assault, she remembers that she “sounded like she was in pain, and she sounded like she was maybe being muffled by somebody.” At the time, she was trying to fend off a member of Hutton's entourage who was making advances on her.
-Hutton denies her allegations and via his legal team claim that she just wants to extort money from the actor, citing both a past failed settlement between both parties and that a friend of Johnston's had attempted to mediate on her behalf with the second man who'd raped her. They provided a 91-page letter to BuzzFeed News to discredit her but didn't allow any of it to be quoted. Hutton contacted the FBI back in July after hearing BuzzFeed News was writing the story.
-There were previous statements from an actor named Réal Andrews (who Johnston briefly dated later in life) about how he did see Johnston and her friends in the hotel room, but when Buzzfeed News reached out to him, he didn't respond. When they reached out to Hutton, they were sent a sworn statement from Andrews where he rescinded his previous observation about the underage girls' presence in Hutton's hotel room.
-Johnston was inspired by the women who came forward about R Kelly and the Atlantic article on Bryan Singer. She said she just wants to tell her story. "I’ve just lived a very small, little life, especially since I’ve been divorced. I’ve been very quiet, you know. But something in the back of my mind has just constantly been going, You need to tell people this. Listen, this is what it’s like.”
Hours after this story broke, FOX announced that Almost Family was cancelled but commented no further than that.
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