RuPaul’s Drag Race star Anita Wigl’it has opened up about surviving sexual assault and having her attacker found not guilty in a New Zealand court.
The Auckland drag star who appeared in Drag Race Down Under season one and more recently Drag Race Canada Vs The World has spoken openly with express magazine about the assault and how hard it was for her to eventually report the incident to the police.
On a recent national tour, Ms Wigl’it opened up to the audience about when she was an acclaimed trumpet player in the Royal New Zealand Navy Band and told the crowd about a time she was touring internationally with the band and suddenly lost the ability to play even the most basic of tunes.
Nothing was physically affecting her, but with therapy, she realised it stemmed from repressed memories of a sexual assault.
“I must have said something or allowed it to happen. Somehow given the cues that I was okay with it,” she thought.
“It wasn’t until I read an article about someone else’s story of sexual abuse, I thought, I would never say that this person was at fault. So why do I say that I’m at fault for this. That was a real life-changing moment. I realised if they helped me, sharing my story could also help people,” she explained to express.
Ms Wigl’it decided to come forward and report it to the NZ Police in order to prevent the same thing from happening to others and to add her voice to the others who had reported the same attacker.
“They did such an amazing job handling the situation,” Ms Wigl’it explained.
“The reason I went to the police is I felt a real duty of not letting this happen to other people.
“I was aware other people had gone to the police about the same man because I recognised the story in the news, even though he wasn’t named. I wanted to add my voice and help them in their journey.”
Anita Wigl’it eventually testified in court and the attacker’s lawyer tried to further embarrass her by bringing her profession into question.
“He brought up the fact that I was a drag queen and suggested it was a shady industry… I found myself getting quite fed up with his lawyer trying to discredit me for being a drag.”
Eventually, the attacker was found not guilty with the jury having to decide whether to believe Wigl’it’s word or his.
“When he was found ‘not guilty’, I thought, ‘why did I go through it again?’”
“Even though they’re found ‘not guilty’, it doesn’t mean they’re innocent… This was my opportunity to say what had happened and the impact it had on me. Hopefully, [my attacker] would have learned a lesson from that.
“I hope his days of assaulting people are over. He has already done it to countless people, I’m sure.”
Only 31% of New Zealand sexual assault cases in 2020 led to a conviction.
View this post on Instagram
Anita Wigl’it is on top of the world now after just exhibiting at DragCon UK earlier this month after completing a massive UK tour and competing on Drag Race Canada Vs The World. Following her New Zealand tour last year, Wigl’it is focused on touring her one-woman show, Funny Gurl across Australia next month.
View this post on Instagram
Last Updated on Jan 20, 2023