Gabrielle Union speaks out on co-star Nate Parker rape allegations

Gabrielle Union says she cannot take lightly rape allegations against Nate Parker, who directed her in "The Birth of a Nation" and co-stars in the film in which she plays a rape victim.

In an opinion piece Friday for the Los Angeles Times , Union writes that she has been "in a state of stomach-churning confusion" since learning about the allegations against Parker. Union says she was raped at gunpoint 24 years ago and took the role because she "related to the experience."

Parker was acquitted in a 1999 rape case and maintains his innocence. His accuser killed herself in 2012.

Union says she doesn't know what happened in Parker's case but sees the film as "an opportunity to inform and educate so that these situations cease to occur."