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.
‘My dad had always had this thing when he taught us the birds and the bees, he sat me down talking 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 till 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.”
‘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.’
When he was molested a few years later, he ‘didn’t connect’ the two experiences.
The actor revealed 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 hasn’t 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. No, no. 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. No.’
He added: ‘Happened. 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.’