Jessica Alba was 'preyed upon' as a young actress in Hollywood: 'Nothing about being successful in this business is easy'

Jessica Alba says she had to protect herself growing up in Hollywood.

At the Goop Health Summit, the 38-year-old actress turned Honest Company mogul said she was “preyed upon” by men to the point where it impacted what she wore and ate.

Alba, who started acting when she was 12 and went on to appear in the Sin City and Fantastic Four franchises, said at Gwyneth Paltrow’s event over the weekend that her family members encouraged her not to wear Pepe Jeans because she was “voluptuous” and had a “booty.” She said she was “meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men.”

That led Alba to stop “eating a lot, when I became an actress. I made myself look more like a boy so I wouldn’t get as much attention.”

She said she felt “preyed upon” by men in her early years in the business, saying, “Nothing about being successful in this business is easy.” However she added, You can’t be bitter.”

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Jessica Alba and Cash Warren together
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Jessica Alba and Cash Warren together
CULVER CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Jessica Alba (L) and Cash Warren attend the 2018 Baby2Baby Gala Presented by Paul Mitchell at 3LABS on November 10, 2018 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 17: Jessica Alba, Cash Warren and family attend The Baby2Baby Holiday Party presented by Toys'R'Us at Montage Beverly Hills at Montage Beverly Hills on December 17, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby)
CULVER CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Cash Warren and Jessica Alba attend the 2017 Baby2Baby Gala on November 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/ WireImage)
CULVER CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Actress Jessica Alba and husband Cash Warren attend the 2017 Baby2Baby Gala at 3LABS on November 11, 2017 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Jessica Alba and Cash Warren attend the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Cash Warren and Jessica Alba attend the Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 18: Cash Warren, Jessica Alba, daughters and guests attend Baby2Baby Holiday Party Presented By Old Navy at Montage Beverly Hills on December 18, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 22: Jessica Alba and Cash Warren attend the party for the Premiere Of Lionsgate Summit Premiere's 'Mechanic: Resurrection' at 1 Oak on August 22, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 24: Actress Jessica Alba (L) and her Husband Cash Warren (R) attend the premiere of 'Seoul Searching' at The Majestic Downtown Los Angeles on June 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Producer Cash Warren (L) and actress Jessica Alba, in Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane, attend Saint Laurent at the Palladium on February 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California for the Saint Laurent Los Angeles show. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for SAINT LAURENT)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 06: Cash Warren, actress Jessica Alba, Honor Marie Warren and Haven Garner Warren attend the Baby2Baby Holiday Party Presented By Tiny Prints At Montage Beverly Hills on December 6, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby and Tiny Prints)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 04: Actress Jessica Alba and husband Cash Warren arrive at the 2015 March Of Dimes Celebration Of Babies at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on December 4, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
CULVER CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) Prodcuer Jamie Patricof, Baby2Baby Co-President Kelly Sawyer Patricof, producer Cash Warren, and actress Jessica Alba attend the 2015 Baby2Baby Gala presented by MarulaOil & Kayne Capital Advisors Foundation honoring Kerry Washington at 3LABS on November 14, 2015 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 14: (L-R) Rodger Berman, Cash Warren, Todd Ramasar, Jessica Alba and host Jennifer Meyer Maguire attend Saks Fifth Avenue presents 'Harper's BAZAAR Models' with author Derek Blasberg at Saks Fifth Avenue on October 14, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/WireImage)
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Last year, Alba— who has three children with Cash Warren, whom she married in 2008 — said the #MeToo Movement was long overdue. She told CNN she was sexually harassed “all the time” as a young actress.

"Of course I have,” she said. “All the time along the way. As a young actress growing up in the business, you just accepted that that's the way you were going to be treated.”

She added, “I mean, I've been doing this since I was 12. Imagine what that's like."

In the same interview, she noted that she avoided being on Harvey Weinstein’s accuser list. While his Weinstein Company produced her 2005 film Awake, "I never was ever alone with him in any jobs that I did. I was with groups of people and it was always at premieres and things like that, so I was never in a situation where it was just one on one.”

Alba was 18 when she started dating her Dark Angel co-star Michael Weatherly, who was 12 years her senior. They became engaged, but called things off in 2003. Weatherly was accused of sexually harassing Eliza Dushku, who was hired to play his love interest on Bull in 2017.

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