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Ruth Wilson speaks out on quitting 'The Affair' admitting 'I didn't feel safe'

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·2-min read
Actress Ruth Wilson poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of 'His Dark Materials' at the BFI southbank in central London, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
Ruth Wilson has said she did not feel safe on set of The Affair but she did what she had to to protect herself. (AP)

Ruth Wilson has said she quit The Affair because “things didn't feel right” and “I didn’t feel safe”.

The 38-year-old actress starred opposite Dominic West in the hit Showtime series for four years before leaving amid reports of a toxic work environment and too many sex scenes.

Wilson has now spoken out for the first time, telling Stylist magazine: “The reason I haven't gone into The Affair is that I haven't worked out how to discuss it.

“There's a lot of noise and anger surrounding it, and really the power rests with me to choose how I discuss my life and my experiences.

Watch: Jonathan Pryce and Ruth Wilson win best actor and actress at the Bafta Cymru Awards

“What's important to say is that I did speak up. I did have a voice. I did stand up for myself. There was a situation on The Affair where things didn't feel right, and I dealt with them, and I managed to protect myself.”

Read more: Ruth Wilson's abrupt exit from 'The Affair' finally explained in disturbing new report

She added: “It was before #MeToo and before Harvey Weinstein – and yet my instincts were very clear and strong about what I felt was wrong, about what was going on, and what I didn't feel safe about.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 06:  Sarah Treem and Ruth Wilson attend a screening for Showtime's "The Affair" at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater on May 6, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
The Affair creator Sarah Treem with Ruth Wilson in 2015. (Getty Images)

The His Dark Materials star quit the US series in 2018 before the final season.

When the actress announced season 4 would be her last, she told The New York Times her departure wasn't about "pay parity" or "taking other jobs," hinting: "There is a much bigger story."

At the time there were reports that the show’s creator and executive producer Sarah Treem put pressure on cast members to take part in sex scenes, creating an uncomfortable feeling on set.

EXCLUSIVE - Maura Tierney, Dominic West, Ruth Wilson and Joshua Jackson seen at Showtime's 2015 Summer TCA held at The Beverly Hilton on Tuesday, August 11, 2015, in Beverly Hills. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Showtime/AP Images)
Maura Tierney, Dominic West, Ruth Wilson and Joshua Jackson starred in The Affair together. (AP)

A source with firsthand knowledge of the production told The Hollywood Reporter: "There was a culture problem at the show from the very beginning and a tone-deafness from Sarah Treem about recognising the position she was putting actors in.

Read more: Dominic West and wife insist 'marriage is strong' after Lily James affair rumours

"Over and over again, I witnessed Sarah Treem try to cajole actors to get naked even if they were uncomfortable or not contractually obligated to."

The Affair also starred Dominic West, Maura Tierney, and Joshua Jackson. Anna Paquin joined the show for the fifth and final season after the departure of Wilson, playing her character’s daughter as an adult.

Watch: Inside sources reveal toxic environment onset of The Affair