Who is Domenica Feraud?
Domenica Feraud is a 28-year-old writer and actor based in New York City. She graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in fine arts, and has since worked in the film and stage industry.
Per her IMDb profile, she made a guest appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2018, and she’s since worked on two films, 2018’s Tahiti and upcoming film, Life After You.
Most notably, however, Feraud wrote Rinse, Repeat, an off-broadway production based loosely on Feraud’s own experience with an eating disorder.
The plot follows an undergraduate who is recovering from severe anorexia at an inpatient centre. After making some progress, she earns a trial weekend at home where she is forced to confront the realities of how the eating disorder has not only impacted her relationship with food, but also with her family and herself.
Speaking to Vogue in 2019, Feraud said of the production: “I noticed there are no plays about eating disorders. Is it that they’re not being written? Or is it that we just don’t want to do them because it’s really complicated to talk about?”
Instagram / @domenicaferaud
The Movie Star And Me
In January 2022, Feraud published a powerful recount on Medium of her experience interning for a Broadway production which featured a major movie star.
Aged 23 at the time, she emphasised how impressionable and vulnerable she was as a new graduate, desperate to impress.
She claims that while working on the set, the aforementioned movie star, who she says was 35 at the time, began to make sexual advances towards her in front of cast and crew members. She describes how he openly discussed sex with her, slept on her lap during rehearsals, and text messaged her regularly, all while those on the Broadway production turned a blind eye to the behaviour unfolding in front of them.
She details how confused she felt, the excitement at being pursued by someone of such notoriety, her friends ecstatic and hanging onto every update. But she also felt out of her depth, her lack of experience in relationships and sex making her all the more vulnerable.
She details how one of her friends was “excited” that she could lose her virginity to the movie star: “I googled his age as I walked home: 35, on the cusp of turning 36. But he was aware of my youth, and seemed to be okay with it. I didn’t stop to wonder if I was okay with things.”
She wrote that his advances continued just over one month. In that time frame, she met his mum and sister (both of whom she claims were cool towards her) and eventually, she details their first physical sexual encounter, where she ultimately refused to have sex with him. It sparked a conversation about their age difference, and ended with the movie star telling her he was glad they didn’t have sex.
Afterwards, Feraud writes that the movie star stopped contacting her—a sharp contrast to his previous non-stop attention and guise of emotional intimacy. Later she discovered via a friend who knew his publicist that “apparently, he falls in love with these young interns and PAs on sight, pursues them obsessively, and then has some sort of freak out a month in and disappears.”
As Feraud concludes the piece, she explains of the experience: “I was young, naïve, insecure and all those things made me the perfect target. I believed I was living a fairy tale, and society upheld that narrative.”
She continues: “But it was a nightmare, one I’m still scarred from. And this man was enabled in his behaviour at every step, which makes it hard for me to believe he’s an anomaly. And people like my mentor probably tell themselves these young women are lucky, but I’m here to vehemently disagree. Because the aftermath that never ends? It isn’t worth the fairytale.”
Lead image: Instagram / @domenicaferaud