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Matilda Child Star Mara Wilson Says 50-Year-Old Men Used To Send Her Love Letters

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 Matilda Child Star Mara Wilson Says 50-Year-Old Men Used To Send Her Love Letters

Matilda star Mara Wilson has spoken candidly about her treatment by older fans and the media in a new personal essay.

The 33-year-old, who was a prominent child star after having leading roles in classic family films such as Mrs Doubtfire and Miracle on 34th Street, discussed the pressure she felt to "seem normal" when she rocketed to fame at such a young age.

Mara Wilson hit screens when she was just six years old (Credit: 20th Century Fox)
Mara Wilson hit screens when she was just six years old (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Mara's essay in The New York Times comes in the wake of the hugely shocking documentary Framing Britney Spears, which caused ripples worldwide after it shone a light some of the appalling sexist treatment singer Britney Spears faced during the early years of her pop career.

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After watching the documentary, which was released in the UK earlier this month, Mara wrote: "The way people talked about Britney Spears was terrifying to me then, and it still is now.

"Her story is a striking example of a phenomenon I've witnessed for years: Our culture builds these girls up just to destroy them. Fortunately, people are becoming aware of what we did to Ms Spears and starting to apologise to her. But we're still living with the scars."

Despite only being six years old when she first starred in Mrs Doubtfire, Mara added that she was still sexualised by fans and the media.

Mara Wilson played Matilda in the hit 90s classic (Credit: Sony Pictures)
Mara Wilson played Matilda in the hit 90s classic (Credit: Sony Pictures)
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"I had already been sexualized anyway, and I hated it," she continued. "I mostly acted in family movies - the remake of Miracle on 34th Street, Matilda, Mrs Doubtfire. I never appeared in anything more revealing than a knee-length sundress.

"This was all intentional: My parents thought I would be safer that way. But it didn't work. People had been asking me, 'Do you have a boyfriend?' in interviews since I was six. Reporters asked me who I thought the sexiest actor was and about Hugh Grant's arrest for soliciting a prostitute."

In more disturbing revelations, Mara said her image was manipulated to feature in child pornography, and she was listed on foot fetish sights.

"It was cute when 10-year-olds sent me letters saying they were in love with me. It was not when 50-year-old men did," she said.

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Mara Wilson left acting for over 15 years in 2000 (Credit: PA Images)
Mara Wilson left acting for over 15 years in 2000 (Credit: PA Images)

"Before I even turned 12, there were images of me on foot fetish websites and photoshopped into child pornography. Every time, I felt ashamed.

"Hollywood has resolved to tackle harassment in the industry, but I was never sexually harassed on a film set. My sexual harassment always came at the hands of the media and the public."

Mara retired from acting in 2000, and has since focused on writing. She has, however, returned to performing in smaller roles, appearing in Billie Bob Joe, Broad City and BoJack Horseman.

Featured Image Credit: Sony Pictures/PA

Topics: matilda, Film News, Celebrity News, TV & Film

Kimberley Bond
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