Academy Award winner for Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Helen Mirren at the 79th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA, on Sunday, February 25, 2007. ©A.M.P.A.S.

Helen Mirren: women doubt rape

She caused controversy this autumn by admitted she was date raped twice when she was younger but did not inform police because it was a “tricky area” in the male-female relationship.

Now, Dame Helen Mirren has claimed that women’s jealousy may make female jurors more likely to believe a rape victim “asked for it”.

The Oscar winner told the Sunday Times Magazine that “women go against women”, leading defence lawyers to prefer that men accused of rape stand before female-majority juries.

“Whether in a deep-seated animalistic way, going back billions of years, or from a sense of tribal jealousy or just antagonism, I don’t know, but other women on a rape case would say she was asking for it,” Helen said. “The only reason I can think of is that they’re sexually jealous.”

The 63-year-old actress has sparked rage from activists who hope to increase the rate for reporting rape crimes, from its current 6.1 percent. Assaults have a 25-percent report rate, according to the Times.

Helen told GQ for the magazine’s October issue that her assaults were fuzzy territory because they were non-violent.

“I was date-raped, yes. A couple of times. Not with excessive violence, but rather being locked in a room and made to have sex against my will. If a woman voluntarily ends up in man’s bedroom with her clothes off…it’s such a tricky area, isn’t it? Especially if there is no violence. I think she has the right to say no at the last second. But I don’t think she can have that man in court under those circumstances.

“I guess it is one of the many subtle parts of the men/women relationship that has to be negotiated and worked out between them.”

– Jill Hilbrenner