Priyanka Chopra, 34-years-old, is an Indian actress, film producer, singer, and philanthropist, after having won the Miss World pageant in 2000.
After visiting Zimbabwe as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, Chopra spoke of her dismay at the level of sexual violence against children in Zimbabwe. She said government officials there told her that many young girls are “asking for it.”
Page Six reported that Priyanka Chopra found the whole experience eye-opening, meeting girls who had been thrown out of their homes and shunned by society because they had been raped. The girls there are told it’s their fault. Some of these girls were as young as three-years-old when they were raped by their fathers, uncles, or other family members.
Chopra said she believes it’s her duty to use her celebrity status to fight against violence against children. The actress noted that, being from India, she has seen “wealth and poverty live together.” She believes that, as someone who is “privileged,” it is her duty to do her part to correct the inequality in other parts of the world.
“It takes people like us who are privileged, who have everything that we may need in abundance, to be able to share it in parts of the world where they may not have that.”
Today in Zimbabwe unemployment is high, and the social services and health systems are suffering. The once-prosperous Zimbabwe has sunk into economic crisis: the cash crunch is so severe that in some cases livestock is accepted instead of money.
Chopra said there was one Zimbabwe girl whose story has stayed with her. The girl told Chopra that she was just seven-years-old when she was raped by her uncle.
“The pastor of their church told her family that she was possessed and she should come and live with him, but the pastor raped her for two years. She was taken away from there and sent to another uncle and aunty of hers. The aunty then forced her to have sex with her husband, who was HIV positive. That was how she contracted HIV at age 17.”
Three times this young girl tried to kill herself before finally being rescued by a group that offered her psychological support.
In other news, Page Six reported in January that Priyanka Chopra suffered a head injury while on the set of Quantico, but after a few days rest she was back to work.
Shortly after, she spoke to Entertainment Tonight at the People’s Choice Awards.
“I had to wear my brace for a couple days and then I’m fine.”
But she did admit it was a scary incident that put her in hospital. She described the incident, saying that it was “raining or snowing or whatever” in New York that night, and that she was wearing rubber boots.
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) May 4, 2017
Even after performing “so many stunts before” and never being injured, this time she slipped on a wet road and hit her head twice: first on the bumper of a car, and then on the road.
“I was taken to the ER, and they did a CAT scan and they said it was a concussion, so I had to take three days off work.”
However, Priyanka Chopra didn’t waste her forced break from work: she spent much of the weekend on the couch listening to audiobooks. Explaining that she couldn’t read or watch TV, Chopra turned to Amy Schumer for company.
“I just had Amy Schumer in my ears the whole weekend.”
At the ceremony, Priyanka Chopra took home the award for Favorite Dramatic TV Actress.
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) May 5, 2017
The Indian Express reported that Chopra would soon be making her Hollywood debut playing the role of Victoria Leeds opposite Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson in Baywatch. Recently, back in India for a well-earned break, Chopra took time out to promote Baywatch in Mumbai.
The much-loved Quantico actor has walked the red carpet for the Oscars, the Golden Globes, and the Emmy awards, but said she particularly loved Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globe awards this year. The iconic actress made a powerful speech that spoke strongly against Donald Trump.
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) May 9, 2017
Saying that she “loved witnessing Meryl Streep’s speech,” Priyanka Chopra admitted that she was “standing on my table” and “screaming and hooting,” until Modern Family‘s Sofia Vergara said, “This is not a football game.”
“I started laughing and that’s when I actually realized where I was. It was an amazing moment to witness and that speech really was wonderful.”
When asked if it’s possible for celebrities in India to speak about issues concerning their country in the same way, Priyanka Chopra noted that she considers herself “opinionated,” and if she has an opinion on an issue, she doesn’t “refrain from talking.”
“I can’t say that it’s really difficult to have an opinion in India. Every country is different and we are too.”
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) May 13, 2017
She went on to give her opinion that “public figures” are “soft targets,” and that their words can easily be misconstrued and blown out of proportion.
“It’s easier to make a headline about [a public figure] saying something. Then it’s sometimes misconstrued and that gets blown out of proportion.”
[Featured Image by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]