In an essay on Substack called “Tell Me a Time You Were Molested”, the 43-year-old says she was sexually assaulted at a spa in New York on 25 February 2020.
“I’d been invited to the millennial spa for a comped massage and an adaptogen infused latte with the understanding that I would talk favourably about the experience on social media,” she wrote about the 80 minute spa treatment.
She noted that she had a male massage therapist in his mid-thirties, who left the room when she “took off everything aside from [her] underwear and slipped under the thin sheet covering the table”.
Mollen, who is the wife of actor Jason Biggs, said that the massage therapist returned five minutes later. She said the masseuse told her that she was in “complete control” and that he wanted to respect her, but she claims he still got pretty close to her during the massage.
“Despite his initial comments about respecting my space and modesty, the therapist didn’t try to avoid my glutes nor did he seem self-conscious about getting too close to my breasts,” she wrote. “He prodded me with fingers that felt as wide as Olive Garden breadsticks and contorted me into various positions, folding me in half like I was some kind of magician’s assistant. I wasn’t uncomfortable with his forwardness.”
She explained that she still felt comfortable around the therapist at that point, adding: “If anything, I was relieved that he wasn’t holding back and optimistic that he would have the strength to dig this one particularly burdensome knot out of my right trap.”
Mollen continued to write that once she was sixty minutes into the massage, she was “in a trance”. At that point, she noted the therapist asked her to sit up on the table to “adjust [her] back”. She acknowledged that while his touch would be “potentially sensual under other circumstances”, it still “felt innocuous” during the massage.
She said “the therapist tipped [her] backwards” and then she felt his hand “move from [her] stomach to the gap between [her] breasts”.
“‘Can I touch here?’ he half-whispered, sitting me back up and moving his hands over my breasts,” she wrote, before adding that she said yes to his question, as she “trusted him” and had “no reason not to”.
However, she explained that the massage experience changed “moments later.” The therapist proceeded to rub her chest before “suddenly” moving his hand towards her vagina.
“‘Can I touch here?’ he might have asked, already starting to masturbate me,” Mollen added. “Frozen in shock, I thought I was hallucinating. I struggled to speak when suddenly his lips were on mine and his tongue was in my mouth. I turned my head away and cupped my hand over my face as he moved down my neck and started licking my nipple.”
She noted that while what was happening “was wrong”, she didn’t want to call her mother, who was getting a massage in the next room. Mollen proceeded to describe the incident, adding: “It was a slow and subtle assault that I felt somehow complicit in.”
The Angel star shared that when the massage therapist tried to remove her underwear, she told him: “No…uh. I… can’t I’m married.” From there, he “immediately stopped and launched into an apology”.
“He said something like ‘Okay,’ ‘of course,’ or ‘your wish is my command’ then turned back into a real massage therapist and asked if he could do one more manoeuvre to crack my back before we finished,” she wrote. “I let him.”
Mollen claimed that after he called her husband a “lucky man”, the therapist asked her to keep what happened “between” them as he had two children and didn’t want to get fired. In response, she nodded and said: “Yeah, no worries.”
Once the massage ended, she described the “panic” she felt and how she was “frantically scrubbing [her] tongue”. She noted that when she did leave the room, the massage therapist once again apologised.
“‘Hey, sorry again. If you rebook I promise that won’t happen,’” she recalled him saying. “He shook his head, remorseful. If I’d been writing a Yelp review, I would have also noted that he didn’t even offer me water or tea after my assault. Kind of tacky.”
During their small talk, Mollen also discovered that the therapist has two sons, just like she does. She and Biggs share two children: Sid, nine, and Lazlo, five.
“‘Yeah, two boys are scary. I have to be extra careful to make sure I’m not raising two little rapists,’ he sighed with zero irony,” she wrote. “‘Sorry again about all that.’ He said, the way a waiter would if he’d accidentally knocked over your drink.”
She noted that after she told her mother what happened during the massage, she felt a “wave of shame wash over” her.
“He had asked permission. And I’d thought nothing of it. Instantly, I felt the need to defend myself,” she wrote. “The more I talked about what had happened, the more confusing it became. ‘Why didn’t you say, ‘no’ when he made a move?’ ‘Why didn’t you scream for help? Why didn’t you run away?’ I asked myself over and over.”
Mollen explained that “after spending two days in bed on Xanax”, she went to the police station. Officers told her she needed to “go downtown to the special victims unit for questioning.” She ultimately decided not to press charges against the therapist.
“The choice was mine. And then I understood why so many women go away, why they don’t report, why they just move on after incidents like this occur,” she wrote. “It’s not that they don’t want to do the right thing, it’s that our system makes doing the right thing near impossible. I told the cop that I would think about it, already knowing that I would do nothing. I didn’t want the drama for myself nor did I want it for my family.”
The actor concluded her essay by claiming that the therapist “was eventually fired and a complaint was filed against his massage licence”. She also noted that she looked him up on social media and that “he seems fine”.
“Still a dad. Still referring to himself as a ‘muscle mechanic,’” she wrote.
The Independent has contacted a representative for Mollen for comment.
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.