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GENERAL HOSPITAL

Bonnie Burroughs Opens Up About Being Sexually Harassed on a Film Set

When guests sit down to chat with GENERAL HOSPITAL star Maurice Benard (Sonny) on his State of Mind YouTube show, they know that some tough topics are going to be talked about. Bonnie Burroughs (Gladys, GH) was the most recent guest to take a seat opposite Benard to talk about her life and career, and during the conversation with her co-star, the actress admitted that she was sexually harassed on a movie set early on in her career.

As Burroughs explained, after studying at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, she landed small roles on HOUSTON KNIGHTS and ONE LIFE TO LIVE before moving to Hollywood in 1988. Her big break came when she landed a crucial role opposite Steven Seagal in the 1990 action thriller Hard to Kill.

“My affectionate nickname for that movie is Hard to Stomach,” Burroughs joked, affirming Benard’s theory that Seagal is known for not being a nice person to work with. “I don’t think it’s a secret.”

Hard to Kill starred Seagal as Mason Storm, a police detective who is shot during a home invasion that killed his wife. Mason awakens from a coma seven years later, determined to avenge his wife’s death and expose the corrupt senator whom he’s sure ordered the murder of his family.

Although Burroughs’ role as Mason’s wife, Felicia, was minor — “I got killed in the first few minutes of the movie” — she said that being cast in the film “was a big deal” to her at the time as a struggling actress. Unfortunately, Burroughs found herself in an uncomfortable situation while working with Seagal. “I was definitely sexually harassed,” she confessed.

GH Gladys Selina
Years before she would be cast as GH’s Gladys, Burroughs was assaulted while working on the movie Hard to Kill.ABC

Burroughs went on to explain that she felt Seagal’s behavior was “inappropriate” while they were filming the love scene between Felicia and Mason. “We are both dressed, but he is more dressed than I am. The blocking was that I was on top of him, and then I would slide off of him because they would come in and shoot me, and I would have to reset and climb back on top of him.”

Back then, Burroughs explained, there was no intimacy coordinator present for such delicate scenes, the crew member who would ensure that clear boundaries are set and respected for the performers. “He was like ‘helping’ me get on top of him,” she shared. “I didn’t need help getting into position. It was such bullsh*t.”

The actions upset Burroughs, but — like many other women — she kept her feelings to herself. “I wasn’t going to say anything because I didn’t want to jeopardize the job,” she admitted. “I think everybody did back then.”

But today, Burroughs doesn’t mind sharing her story, knowing that her experience may help someone else going through a similar situation feel less alone. “I don’t mind talking about it now because it’s important,” she pointed out.

As Benard wrote in the description of the episode, he was proud of Burroughs for opening up about her story. So are we.

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