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Gabrielle Union is finally speaking out about the recently resurfaced Nate Parker rape allegations that, unfortunately, has tainted the positive buzz surrounding Parker’s historical film, The Birth of a Nation. 

Union, who stars in the feature directed and produced by Nate, wrote a op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, recounting her personal experience with rape and how it’s affected her views on Nate’s latest controversy.

The actress recalled being “raped at gunpoint in the cold, dark backroom of the Payless shoe store where I was then working” 24 years ago. Union explained that she had signed on to do the project before knowing about Nate’s accusal and acquittal of sexual assault seventeen years ago.

“Different roads circling one brutal, permeating stain on our society. A stain that is finely etched into my own history. Rape is a wound that throbs long after it heals. And for some of us the throbbing gets too loud,” she wrote. “Post traumatic stress syndrome is very real and chips away at the soul and sanity of so many of us who have survived sexual violence.”

Gabrielle, who in the drama plays an unarmed slave who was raped, explained that she wanted to do the project because she “related to the experience.” She explained, however, that she can’t take Parker’s allegations lightly.

“As important and ground-breaking as this film is, I cannot take these allegations lightly. On that night, 17-odd years ago, did Nate have his date’s consent? It’s very possible he thought he did. Yet by his own admission he did not have verbal affirmation; and even if she never said ‘no,’ silence certainly does not equal ‘yes.’ Although it’s often difficult to read and understand body language, the fact that some individuals interpret the absence of a ‘no’ as a ‘yes’ is problematic at least, criminal at worst. That’s why education on this issue is so vital,” Union wrote.

The Being Mary Jane actress opened up about raising sons and making sure she and husband, NBA champion Dwyane Wade, make efforts “to teach our sons about affirmative consent. We explain that the onus is on them to explicitly ask if their partner consents. And we tell them that a shrug or a smile or a sigh won’t suffice. They have to hear ‘yes.'”

According to Union, she read the full 700-page transcript from the case and still cannot draw a conclusion. She, however, explained, “I believe that the film is an opportunity to inform and educate so that these situations cease to occur on college campuses, in dorm rooms, in fraternities, in apartments or anywhere else young people get together to socialize.”

The 43-year-old concluded, “It is my hope that we can use this as an opportunity to look within. To open up the conversation. To reach out to organizations which are working hard to prevent these kinds of crimes. And to support its victims. To donate time or money. To play an active role in creating a ripple that will change the ingrained misogyny that permeates our culture. And to eventually wipe the stain clean.”

The Birth of a Nation is slated to release on October 7, 2016.

EXCLUSIVES

Reports: Mariah Carey Signs With Jay Z’s RocNation

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We know Mariah Carey changes managers like she changes clothes, but her next move could be her best move. According to Page Six Carey is in talks with Jay Z’s Roc Nation to manage her career.

Roc Nation manages Rihanna, Shakira, J Cole and DJ Khaled to name a few.

Apparently, the pop diva is hoping Hov and his team can put her back on top now that she parted ways with former manager Stella Bulochnikov earlier this month.

Sources tell HipHollywood Carey is cleaning house, and has also fired her publicist, assistant and attorney Darrell Miller.

But one person who hasn’t gotten the boot is her back-up dancer boyfriend Bryan Tanaka. Rumors were swirling that she hired Tanaka to take over her day-to-day management, but he’s actually her creative director.

Carey just released her holiday movie Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, and is slated to bring her Christmas concerts back to the Beacon Theater in NYC this month. She hasn’t however dropped a new album in almost four years.

Fingers crossed this new partnership with Roc Nation brings about new music, and a Mariah / Jay Z collaboration. The two did make magic back in 1999 with their #1 single “Heartbreaker.”

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