Actress Selma Blair, a Hollywood darling of the late ’90s and early ’00s, is making headlines this week, discussing her new memoir “Mean Baby,” which reveals heartbreaking details of life, including some growing up in Michigan.
Blair, who turns 50 next month, recounts bouts of alcoholism that began at age 7 and lasted for decades, two suicide attempts and incidents of sexual assault, including one he said happened to him as a teenager in Cranbrook.
Blair accuses a dean of the Cranbrook schools of kissing and touching her.
“We hugged. It felt too long, too still and too quiet,” she wrote, noting that it was during her freshman year. “His hand went to the small of my back, tracing the space just above my tailbone. His lips were on my mouth.”
She did not identify him by name.
The bombshell, published on Wednesday by people magazine Before the book’s release on May 17, he was previously unknown to the elite private prep school in Bloomfield Hills, Clay Matthews, the school’s director of communications, told the Free Press.
Matthews said the school reported what Blair wrote to local police.
The school also, Matthews said, has urged former students, students and anyone else who may have experience or knowledge of sexual misconduct, abuse and harassment to report them.
“We were made aware by the school that this article would come to light,” Bloomfield Hills Police Lt. Dustin Lockard said Thursday, adding that Blair has not filed a formal report and that there is no ongoing investigation. “If the victim wants to come forward and file a complaint, they are more than welcome to do so. But we don’t go after everything we’ve heard in a book or article.”
Still, even though her allegation is 35 years old and against someone Cranbrook said Thursday no longer works at the school, it underscores how seriously society and schools are now taking sexual abuse, harassment and rape. .
In recent years, there have been multiple accounts of experiences of sexual harassment and abuse across the country and in Michigan, including the #MeToo campaign, The controversial nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Courtscandals in michigan state universitythe University of Michigan and a previous indictment in Cranbrook.
The memory of Blair is also potentially damaging to Cranbrook’s reputation, especially since the school singles out Blair, who attended Kalamazoo College and graduated from the University of Michigan, among its most notable alumni.
Cranbrook said Thursday morning that, so far, Blair has not contacted the school about the incident and does not know if he has contacted a private company the school hired to investigate an earlier allegation by another Cranbrook graduate.
In April, Cranbrook sent a letter to stakeholders at the institution in which he hired an attorney to investigate a recent report of sexual misconduct by a former faculty member, now dead, six decades ago.
That employee had worked at the school from 1946 to 1961.
The letter also acknowledged that sexual misconduct has “grown in the past decade,” said “the safety and support of students” was the school’s “greatest concern” and urged additional reports to be made to an investigator. Independent.
Blair, a native of Southfield and a 1990 Cranbrook graduate, is the youngest of four daughters and shortened her name from Selma Blair Beitner.
Before attending Cranbrook, he attended Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills.
Early in her career, she appeared in television commercials, but later went on to star in movies. Some of her best known roles were in “Cruel Intentions”, “Legally Blonde” and “The Sweetest Thing”.
More recently, she has spoken publicly about living with multiple sclerosis and was the subject of a 2021 documentary, “Introducing, Selma Blair,” which showed how the actress and mother has adjusted to living with the disease.
This week, Blair appeared on NBC’s “Today” and spoke with presenter Savannah Guthrie.
In her book, Blair called the dean of Cranbrook a “mentor and friend” and recalled in vivid detail what she was wearing — dress code-approved Ralph Lauren khakis tucked into a plaid shirt — the day she said she was groped.
“He didn’t rape me. He didn’t threaten me. But he broke me. Nothing ever happened again but I never felt safe,” she wrote, adding that her mother told her “not to tell anyone.”
At the end of her senior year, Blair added, the dean congratulated her on winning an award, turned to her mother and said, “You must be so proud.” She replied, “I know what you did. Stay away from my daughter.”
Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or [email protected]