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Gwyneth Paltrow and Lisa Rinna both know first-hand that the entertainment industry can be a tough place for women. Although they've had very different careers, both actresses say they've experienced the "casting couch": producers demanding sexual favors in exchange for desirable roles. Paltrow, 38, opened up about her experience in November's "Women in Hollywood" issue of Elle.
"When I was just starting out, someone suggested that we finish a meeting in the bedroom," the Oscar winner tells the magazine. "I left. I was pretty shocked. I could see how someone who didn't know better might worry, 'My career will be ruined if I don't give this guy a b*** j**!"
Television star Rinna, 47, tells PopEater an even more upsetting story -- one that lost her a major career opportunity.
"I lost a role on a big TV series because I wouldn't bend over a chair in a producer's office for 'just a quickie,'" says Rinna, who was 24 at the time. The actress recalls the producer saying, "just pull your panties down and bend over and the role is yours." She left the room in tears, and says she thinks about that moment every day.
The silver lining of these terrible stories is that both actresses said "no," walked out the door, and went on to successful careers. (Rinna even claims that she curbed the producer's behavior by threatening to expose him after she became famous.) Still, it's disheartening to know that the casting couch is such a common experience. More women are successful directors and producers than ever before; if that trend continues, maybe actresses will have to worry a little less about being propositioned at auditions.
Do you think actresses have a harder time than actors? Chime in below!