Rihanna’s new video “Man Down,” which features a scene in which Rihanna kills her sex attacker, shooting him at a railway station before a series of flashback images show her grappling with him outside a nightclub as he tries to assault her, elicited a surprising response from Bad Boys 2 star Gabrielle Union: she had also tried to shoot her rapist.

While the actress has talked about the rape she suffered as a 19-year-old, she hadn’t fully opened up about it until recently. After a fan asked her what she thought of Rihanna’s video, Union, now 38, tweeted in support of the songstress, “Every victim/survivor of rape is unique, including how they THINK they'd like justice 2 be handed out.” Union then proceeded to make clear that she spoke from experience. “During my rape I tried 2 shoot my rapist, bt I missed. Over the yrs I realized tht killin my rapist would've added insult 2 injury. The DESIRE 2 kill someone whose abused/raped u is understandable, bt unless its self defence n the moment 2 save ur life, just ADDS 2 ur troubles,” she said.

Union opened up about her ordeal in 2009 after online comments about a gang rape victim in the U.S. left her feeling disgusted. The furor surrounding ‘Man Down’ caused her to relive her nightmare. “Stranger who robbed the store I worked at," she tweeted of her rapist, “He put his gun dwn durin the rape &asked me 2 [hand] it 2 him.”Union's rapist turned himself in to cops and he was sentenced to 33 years behind bars.

While Rihanna’s video has been denounced by both The Parents Television Council and Industry Ears, who called it “potentially the worst possible message that could be sent,” Union, who has been an advocate for rape crisis centers, praised the video. “#Mandown video did a GREAT job of getting the ENTIRE world TALKING abt RAPE,” she tweeted. “I hope that it leads 2 HEALING & PREVENTS RAPE.” Rihanna defended her work as a piece of art, and a chance to address a serious, but often overlooked issue.


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