Matthew McConaughey has said he refused to let being blackmailed into having sex when he was 15 and drugged and molested by a man when he was 18 ‘beat him’.
The Dallas Buyers Club star, 52, previously shared the harrowing accounts in his autobiography, Greenlights, and has now detailed the conversations he had with his father that informed him that this was not how anyone should be treated.
Speaking on Amanda de Cadenet’s The Conversation: About the Men podcast, he said of his parents’ lessons on sexual intimacy and respect: ‘Well, I had been taught, been guided by my parents about respect for a woman, respect for the relationship, respect for sexual intimacy, respect for space.
Speaking out: Matthew McConaughey has said he refused to let being blackmailed into having sex when he was 15 and drugged and molested by a man when he was 18 ‘beat him’
‘My dad always had this thing when he taught us the birds and the bees, he sat me down talking about the birds and the bees. “You’re getting that age you kiss?” and I said, “Yes, sir.”
‘And he goes, “Well, it’s gonna go further than that one day. It’s probably gonna go to where you’re gonna get intimate and there’s gonna be the breast, and there’s gonna be below the belt.” I’m paraphrasing, and he goes, “It’s gonna happen to you as well”.’
Recalling being taught about sexual consent, he continued: ‘And so he goes, and he’s talking to me, he says, “Son, as a male in the situation,” speaking to me about a heterosexual relationship, “If you ever feel the girl, the female, hesitate, stop”.
‘He even said this, he goes, “You may even feel them hesitate, and then after you stop, they may go, oh, no, no, come on. Don’t. Wait until next time.” And he was right, I got in certain senses where it was like, “No, no, no. OK, I’m out.” And saying, “OK, cool. I’m out”.
Memoir: Matthew shared the harrowing accounts in his autobiography, ‘Greenlights’, and he’s detailed the conversations he had with his father that informed him that this was not how anyone should be treated (pictured as a teenager)
‘The girl went, “Oh, well, no, come on.” And I was like, “No, no, no.” He said, “Trust you’ll have another day, if it is to be”.
The actor was still able to have some ‘healthy sexual relations’ with girls that weren’t ‘ugly’ after the blackmailing.
He went on: ‘But I was very clear, again, that was not right, that was not cool, that was not the way it is.
‘After that, I got to have some healthy sexual relations and have girls that I liked and liked me, and we slowly got intimate and it was beautiful and clumsy, and all those things, but it wasn’t ugly like that was.’
His father James passed away in 1992, aged 63, when the actor was still in his early 20s.
Matthew said: ‘I had been taught, been guided by my parents about respect for a woman, respect for the relationship, respect for sexual intimacy, respect for space’ (pictured with his wife Camila Alves in 2019)
When Matthew was molested a few years later, he said he ‘didn’t connect’ the two experiences.
The actor revealed that he was molested as a teenager by another man in his memoir.
Matthew wrote about the horrific incident in which he was ‘knocked unconscious’ by his male assailant when he was 18 and assaulted.
The Dallas Buyer’s Club star adds that he was ‘in the back of a van’ when the attack happened.
The Gold star has not had therapy but said the people around him have helped him deal with the trauma.
Matthew vowed to himself to never let the abuse he experienced in his adolescence make him ‘afraid of relationships’ or stop him from trusting others.
He said: ‘I’m not gonna be afraid of relationships because my first experience was blackmail. Uh uh. That’s an aberration. Well, well. That’s not the way it is.
‘And if I go on – and I’m not gonna let it beat me. I’m going, ‘I’m not gonna let that beat my sense of trust in people and say, ‘No, I can have a healthy relationship.’ Non-negotiable. Woman.’
He added: ‘You happen. Am I denying that it happened? No. I’m not denying that it happened. Ugly. Ugh.
‘I still get, even telling you this story, I get — but am I gonna carry that? I chose, non-negotiably, I’m not going to carry that, bring that baggage into the life I’m going to lead, and how I treat people and how I trust people, and how I look at circumstances and the risk I may take.’
Matthew’s 304-page memoir Greenlights hits shelves on October 20, 2021, and he detailed the two incidents in his book.
Candid: The actor was still able to have some ‘healthy sexual relations’ with girls that weren’t ‘ugly’ after the blackmailing
Following the book’s release, Matthew spoke about why he felt it wasn’t ‘constructive’ to go into detail about the sexual assaults.
‘Ultimately, there’s nothing that I feel is constructive about the details,’ he said on The Tamron Hall Show.
‘I feel like those details, unless I had a really good constructive way that I saw it that could be relatable to other people, I felt like those details could have just been grabbed and reported for voyeurism.’
He said he didn’t want to exploit his trauma because then every headline and TV show would focus on his victimization.
‘I also write in the book I’ve never felt like a victim,’ The Gentlemen action star explained.
Reflecting: Matthew’s 304-page memoir Greenlights hit shelves on October 20, 2021, and he detailed the two incidents in his book
‘Yes was I victimized in those two situations? Sure. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve carried on through my life the feeling of “Oh I was victimized,” or “Oh I was a victim,” or that those two unfortunate events have turned me into the man that I am or are even an excuse.’
Matthew continued: ‘Those two events happened to me at 15 and 18. If they would’ve happened to me younger, maybe I would’ve been more confused.
‘But when they happened to me, it was very clear to me, that they were wrong, that they were not ideal, that they were not how it’s supposed to be.’
He said he believed having that clarity was why those situations didn’t stick with him, confuse him, or leave him with ‘a non-realistic view of the way the world was supposed to work’.
Opening up: His book was the first time that Matthew (pictured in 2020) had spoken in public about either incident but he has shown his support for sexual assault charities in the past
His book was the first time that Matthew had spoken in public about either incident but he has shown his support for sexual assault charities in the past.
He was born and raised in Texas, attending the University of Texas in Austin. In 2019, he joined the university as an acting professor but had previously offered his support in helping their efforts to eradicate on-campus sexual assault.
In 2006, he became involved in the university’s Rape Elimination Program by helping to shuttle students home after dark. He was pictured driving a buggy around campus to bring everyone back safely.
Matthew now has three children – daughter Vida, 12, and sons Levi, 14, and Livingston, nine – with his wife of eight years, Camila Alves.
Matthew originally met the Brazilian-born model, 40, at Hollywood hotspot Hyde back in 2006.
2019 family portrait: Matthew now has three children – daughter Vida, 12, and sons Levi, 14, and Livingston, nine – with his wife of eight years, Camila Alves