In the cover story interview of the magazine's July issue, Stewart compared the rigors of her worldwide fame to a woman being sexually assaulted, saying, "What you don't see are the cameras shoved in my face and the bizarre intrusive questions being asked, or the people falling over themselves, screaming and taunting to get a reaction," she said of the constant paparazzi crush. "The photos are so ... I feel like I'm looking at someone being raped. A lot of the time I can't handle it. It's f---ed. I never expected that this would be my life."
Rape crisis groups and a raft of bloggers, fans and commenters immediately jumped on the quote and lashed Stewart for seemingly making light of sexual assault. The actress told People magazine that she had chosen her words poorly.
"I really made an enormous mistake — clearly and obviously," Stewart, 20, told the magazine during a Korean stop on the promo tour for "Eclipse." "And I'm really sorry about my choice of words. ... I've made stupid remarks before, and I've always reasoned: 'Whatever. They can think what they want.' " This time, though, the "Runaways" star said she felt compelled to react to the growing backlash. " 'Violated' definitely would have been a better way of expressing the thought," she said.
People noted that since playing a rape victim in the 2004 movie "Speak," Stewart has been an advocate on behalf of women who've been sexually assaulted, doing public service announcements for the advocacy groups Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) and Security on Campus.
RAINN spokesperson Katherine Hull told Fox News that she thought Stewart's comments were inappropriate. "Kristen Stewart's comments are regrettable," she said. "Portraying a rape survivor in the film 'Speak' should have led her to use a more appropriate metaphor to describe the intrusive nature of the paparazzi. ... Rape is more than an intrusion, it's a violent crime that causes serious long-term mental-health effects for victims."
Stewart told People that she appreciated the irony of the situation she put herself in and realized her error. "People thinking that I'm insensitive about this subject rips my guts out," she said. "I made a big mistake."
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