Gabrielle Union talks being raped at gunpoint in Payless


In a time when Hollywood heroine’s are coming forward confessing their experiences with sexual violence and discrimination in the industry—mostly at the creepy claws of defamed movie executive, Harvey Weinstein— big and small screen gem, Gabrielle Union, is spilling on the harrowing assault she endured at gunpoint while working at a Payless, in her late teens.

Detailing the rape in her newly published memoir, We’re Gonna Need More Wine, Dwayne Wade’s 44-year-old wife boldly describes how a gunman ordered her and co-worker into the shoe store’s back room, only to levy an assault against her.

“The man marched us into the storeroom, pressing his gun into my back. He said, ‘Take off your clothes,’” Gabrielle recalled of the violation she underwent at 19 in an excerpt of her novel.

“He threw me to the ground and was suddenly on me, spreading my legs as he kept the gun on my head. As he raped me, I began to hover over myself. I could see the whole room. I looked at that poor crying girl and thought, Things like this happen to bad people. Things like this don’t happen to people like me,” she added.

Gabrielle Union rape
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Being Mary Jane’s leading lady—who first openly dubbed herself a rape survivor in 2014—then explains how she got a hold of her attacker’s weapon and fought for her life…
“He turned me over to go for it doggy style. He put the gun down, placing it right next to me. ‘Can you hand me the gun?’ He said it casually as he ripped into me, like he was asking for the salt,” the actress wrote. “I grabbed that mother-f-cking gun, and I shot at him. I can go back to that moment right now. The sound of the gunshot, every muscle in my body tensed, the smell of gunpowder. Then the realization that I missed. That I was probably going to die very soon.”

After a brief tussle over the gun, Gabrielle claims the deviant regained control and threatened to kill her.

“Finally, he ripped the gun out of my hand. He pointed the barrel at my head and stood over me. ‘Now I’m gonna have to kill you, b***h.’ I looked down, my face a mess of blood and tears. I clutched a gold-plated chain necklace my boyfriend Alex had given me. He had already taken everything else from me. This necklace was all I had to offer for my life. ‘You can have this,’ I sputtered. ‘Take it. It’s worth more than the money you got. Take it,’” the Deliver Us From Eva actress begged.

“He didn’t take the necklace. As quickly as it all happened, he was calm. And again, he said, very casually. “How do I get out of here?” I pointed to the back exit, and he went out and I was alone. I never saw him again.”


Gabrielle goes on to praise the first responders for their compassionate care of her following the rape, reveals that she sought legal action against Payless, and rejoices in the fact that her attacker was finally apprehended—in the midst of committing another Payless in a neighboring city—and took a plea deal seeing him ordered to serve a 33 years jail sentence.

She admits that even after therapy, the distressing occurrence still haunts her nearly a quarter-century later.

“Twenty-four years later, fear still influences everything I do. I saw the devil up close, remember. You can figure out how to move through the world, but the idea of peace? In your soul? It doesn’t exist. I’m selective about who I allow into my life. I can spot people who make me feel anxious or fearful, and they are not welcome,” the beauty shares.

“Sometimes I’ll be in the ladies’ room, washing my hands next to another woman. She’ll take a few glances, which I notice, and as I’m readying myself to walk out the door, she’ll say, ‘Me too.’ She doesn’t have to tell me what she means. I nod. I’ve been doing rape advocacy and sharing my own story since the beginning of my career. We don’t hug. We don’t cry. She nods back at me. Just two women in a moment of mutual respect, acknowledging the truth and consequences of our experience. Feeling, in that moment, less alone on our respective islands.”


By : Asia Grace

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