Lea Michele has broken her silence following accusations of her bullying on the set of Glee, apologizing for “any pain” she has caused.
Allegations about Lea’s behavior while filming the U.S. TV program have been swirling for years, with Naya Rivera detailing her unpleasant experiences with the actress in her 2016 book Sorry Not Sorry.
And when Lea tweeted her support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd at the hands of white police officers, her former co-star Samantha Ware hit back by accusing the screen star of making her life a “living hell” when she bullied her on set, and alleged Lea even threatened to “s**t in her wig”.
Following Samantha’s tweet, numerous Glee stars came forward to validate her story, with Dabier Snell and Alex Newell backing up her claims, while Amber Riley and Melissa Benoist both weighed in by “liking” tweets about the scandal.
Now Lea, who is expecting her first child with husband Zandy Reich, has broken her silence about the claims in a statement to People magazine.
“One of the most important lessons of the last few weeks is that we need to take the time to listen and learn about other people’s perspectives and any role we have played or anything we can do to help address the injustices that they face,” she said. “When I tweeted the other day, it was meant to be a show of support for our friends and neighbors and communities of color during this really difficult time, but the responses I received to what I posted have made me also focus specifically on how my own behavior towards fellow cast members was perceived by them. While I don’t remember ever making this specific statement and I have never judged others by their background or color of their skin, that’s not really the point. What matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people.”
She continued: “Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused. We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.”
Referencing her pregnancy, Lea added that she will use the experience to work on herself ahead of giving birth.
“I am a couple of months from becoming a mother and I know I need to keep working to better myself and take responsibility for my actions, so that I can be a real role model for my child and so I can pass along my lessons and mistakes, so that they can learn from me,” she concluded. “I listened to these criticisms and I am learning and while I am very sorry, I will be better in the future from this experience.”