'Older, powerful men' sexually assaulted me - James Van Der Beek

James Van Der Beek starred in hit TV show Dawson's Creek.
James Van Der Beek starred in hit TV show Dawson's Creek. Photo credit: Getty

The dark underbelly of sexual abuse in Hollywood continues to be exposed, with actor James Van Der Beek revealing he was "cornered" and sexually assaulted by "older, powerful men".

In a series of tweets, the Dawson's Creek star voiced support for those who have already come forward to speak about their experiences - before opening up on his own.

It's the latest in a swathe of sexual assault and harassment allegations brought against film stars and executives in the wake of Harvey Weinstein's very public fall from grace.

Movie mogul Weinstein has been sacked by the board of his hugely successful Weinstein Company, and is now the subject of a police investigation in the wake of a bombshell New York Times report that exposed an allegedly extensive history of sexual harassment.

Van Der Beek condemned Weinstein's behaviour as "criminal".

"What Weinstein is being accused of is criminal. What he's admitted to is unacceptable - in any industry. I applaud everybody speaking out," he said.

He then revealed sexual assault at the hands of older men when he was a young man coming up in Hollywood.

"I've had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I've had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger," he said.

"I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle. There's a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome."

When asked why he wouldn't name the men who abused him, Van Der Beek said it was because they had already received their punishment - and nobody would know who they are, anyway.

"The harassment I tweeted about was by people 99.9 percent of you don't know. Two were charged (by others) and punished. The other has since died," he wrote.

He then apologised for marring the reputation of any former executives and colleagues he'd worked with that'd been the subject of scrutiny in the wake of his confession.

Van Der Beek's admission comes just days after fellow male actors Rob Schneider and Terry Crews revealed they had been the victim of sexual assault earlier in their careers.

All three have been applauded for casting light on breaking the stigma associated with sexual abuse of males.