Rape crisis groups are angry over actress Kim Novak’s assertion that she has been "raped" by the makers of the Oscar contender “The Artist” because the film used a score from one of her old movies. But Novak’s camp isn’t offering up any apologies.
Novak’s long time manager Sue Cameron told Fox411: “There are all kinds of rape including the rape of one’s soul. All rapes are violent acts and all victims should be supported.”
Lynn Blanco, the CEO of the Rape Crisis Center in San Antonio, Texas, and herself a victim of rape, disagrees.
“When rape is used in a way that overdramatizes a situation that did not include an actual rape it diminishes the suffering of the thousands of men, women and children who have suffered from the crime,” she told Fox411.com.
In a full page ad taken out in the trade magazine Variety, Novak, 78, uses the word "rape" to describe how she felt when “The Artist” used parts of Bernard Herrmann’s love theme from the movie “Vertigo,” which Novak starred in with James Stewart, to score their movie.
“I want to report a rape,” the ad begins. “I feel as if my body – or, at least my body of work – has been violated by the movie, ‘The Artist.’”
Novak concluded her ad by saying: “It is morally wrong for the artistry of our industry to use and abuse famous pieces of work to gain attention and applause for other than what they were intended.'"
Having an idea stolen is not the same as having your body violated, Blanco said. “We are talking about a horrible and despicable crime,” she explained.
“Does a body of work really equate with a human body and soul brutalized and sexually violated? Ms. Novak would no doubt argue that it does. Some victims (and others) would agree. But others may not,” Karla Miller, the Executive Director of the Rape Victim Advocacy Program in Iowa City, Iowa told Fox411.
Novak isn’t the first celebrity to be criticized over the use of the term "rape." In the November issue of Vanity Fair, Johnny Depp used the word to describe how much he hated having his picture taken in photo shoots.
"Well, you just feel like you’re being raped somehow. Raped ... It feels like a kind of weird -- just weird, man," Depp said. "Whenever you have a photo shoot or something like that, it’s like -- you just feel dumb. It’s just so stupid,” Depp said.
The actor later sent a sincere letter of apology to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network saying he was “truly sorry for offending anyone in any way” and that it “was a poor choice of words on my part in an effort to explain a feeling. I understand there is no comparison and I am very regretful.”
“I really made an enormous mistake – clearly and obviously," Stewart said.
The misuse of the word rape can actually harm victims of the actual crime, Blanco added. “Using the word in this way can actually silence victims from telling their stories," she said. "It reinforces the idea that rape is not serious or important enough to report.”