The 52-year-old Hollywood A-lister described being abused as part of his memoir “Greenlights,” which was released in October 2021. In the book, he described how he was sexually abused at both 15 and 18 years of age. McConaughey most recently described how a conversation he had with his father about consent never factored into what eventually happened with him.
“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,” he said during an interview with Amanda de Cadenet on “The Conversation: About the Men” podcast.
“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.’”
“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,’” McConaughey continued, per The Daily Mail.
“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 til 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.’”
He went on to describe just how he had put that advice into practice.
“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,” he said.
McConaughey said he “didn’t connect” the conversation with a sexual assault that occurred a few years later when he was 18 and “knocked unconscious” by a man “in the back of a van.”
The “Dallas Buyers Club” star insisted he didn’t want the experience to ruin his life.
“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,” has said during the podcast interview.
“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.”
Just after the book came out, McConaughey said he didn’t feel like the victim from his experiences.
“I write also in the book I’ve never felt like a victim,” he said on the Tamron Hall Show. “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.”
“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,” the actor said. “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.”