Afton Williamson, “The Rookie” actress who announced over the weekend she was quitting the ABC police drama after stating she was subjected to bullying, racist comments, sexual harassment and sexual assault, is now publicly naming the people she accused.
On Sunday, the actress said she was sexually harassed by a “recurring guest star,” who she identified late Monday as actor Demetrius Grosse, who played Detective Kevin Wolfe in five episodes in Season 1, according to his IMDB page.
She also accused the show’s “hair department head” of racial discrimination and “racially charged inappropriate comments,” as well as bullying that “escalated into sexual assault at our wrap party.” She named the department head as Sallie Ciganovich.
“This season on ‘The Rookie,’ I was sexually harassed by fellow actor Demetrius Grosse. I was racially bullied and discriminated against and sexually assaulted by hair department head (Sallie) Nicole Ciganovich,” Williamson wrote in the post.
USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for ABC, Grosse, Ciganovich and Williamson for comment.
Williamson played LAPD training officer Talia Bishop opposite star and executive producer Nathan Fillion, who plays a 40-something police trainee. ABC announced in May the show would get picked up for a second season.
What you need to know: ‘The Rookie’ actress Afton Williamson quits show, alleges sexual assault, racist comments
ABC entertainment president Karey Burke told reporters Monday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour that she’s “frustrated” and doesn’t “have a lot of answers” currently. She said she learned of the allegations at the end of June and, as far as she knows, that’s when the investigation began.
“I wish I had more,” she said, according to Deadline and the Los Angeles Times. “We are waiting for answers… As soon as we learn more, we will make determination based on what’s found.”
Williamson thanked her “fans, friends and supporters” for the outpouring of love, kind words, scriptures, strength filled quotes and devout support” since Sunday.
“The rippling effect (the initial post) has had in just a few hours shows how much this world is aching with victims of racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse all of it,” she wrote. “I never imagined so many of us have experienced these horrible circumstances and that can NO LONGER GO UNHEARD. We have a voice. ALL OF US. It is our DUTY to use it.”
Referring to herself as a “survivor” and a “victim of abuse and harassment,” Williamson called on others with similar experiences to step forward and hold others accountable.
“I for one stand with you and I’m no longer afraid to be vocal about it,” she continued. “We Can Stand Together. Let’s Change This Sickness. That Change starts with US. Let’s BE the CHANGE we WANT to SEE❤️????”
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To my Fans, my Friends, my Supporters: I want to Thank EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. I am so beyond overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, kind words, scriptures, strength filled quotes and devout support that has come my way. One Instagram post is just like those 2 fish and 5 loaves of Bread. The rippling effect it has had in just a few hours shows how much this world is aching with victims of racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse all of it. I am no stranger to all of the above even before this experience. But it is through this experience and my platform that God pushed me to use the power within me. It just takes a VOICE. I never imagined so many of us have experienced these horrible circumstances and that can NO LONGER GO UNHEARD. We have a voice. ALL OF US. It is our DUTY to use it. I used to fear the word Victim. I scoffed at it because all I was told when these injustices happened to me, was to Survive. Survivor I am. Victim I am also. A victim of injustice. A victim of assault. A victim of abuse and harassment. If you have experienced any of the above, you are too and I for one stand with you and I’m no longer afraid to be vocal about it. We Can Stand Together. Let’s Change This Sickness. That Change starts with US. This season on The Rookie, I was sexually harassed by fellow actor Demetrius Grosse. I was Racially Bullied and Discriminated against and Sexually Assaulted by Hair Department Head Sally Nicole Ciganovich. Let’s BE the CHANGE we WANT to SEE❤️????
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