By Isabelle Caron, TÚlÚ 7 Jours, 1988
Eden, become a television journalist, has just moved in with Cruz in a new pretty house at the edge of the ocean. Chip, Cruz's son, lives with them. Several evenings, a man follows her, spys her through her windows. One evening, whereas she is alone at home, he strides over a balcony and enters the house by a window left opened. Masked, a knife in the hand, he beats her, rapes her then moves away in total impunity.
This scene of the rape of Eden Capwell Castillo, has already upset the American televiewers. You will not see it in France before two years - due to the time shift (In fact, we saw it in December 2000 !, NRDL) - but at the time when one speaks so much about violence on television, and where Santa Barbara continues its ratings records on TF1, we wanted that Marcy Walker, the actress who plays the role of Eden explains : "I never have, she says, received as many letters than for this episode. Undoubtedly because nowadays rape frightens more than ever all women." Marcy Walker, pregnant for four month, did not however hesitate to agree to play "Eden's rape". "The producers feared that it was physically and morally dangerous for me. I was doubled for the scenes where the rapist throws me on the floor. On the mental level, I knew that I could do it and do it well. I have, among my friends, women to who it happened. A young girl, an actress, that I know for five years, acknowledged me that she had been raped, four years ago. Before seeing me raped in Santa Barbara, she had not dared to say it to me."
It took eighteen hours - in two days - to shoot the rape scene, one of the most difficult and the more painful in Marcy Walker's career. It is an actor who plays the role of the masked rapist, apparently truer than realtity : "I was really afraid, says Marcy Walker, when he approached me, even if it was only fiction. While coming back home on the evening, as I was very tired, I could sleep quickly, but before, I thought for a long time to what had just lived Eden and I thought, without any pretension, that I had played my role well. All my corresponding, victims of rape, say to me besides that the show helped them in being better rendered comprehensible. They estimate that one does not speak enough about those who were raped. I would also wish that the laws would be more severe for rapists. Because they are never taken in obvious offence, it is hard to punish them. In general, there is no witness, or then the victim is afraid of her entourage. In any case, those who criticize Santa Barbara could see that this show, which tries to approach all society phenomenas, can be useful."
The writers asked lawyers and police officers in Los Angeles to help them. The scene following the rape appears also very probable. Eden is standing, in front of the entrance door. Dishevelled, supported by a police officer, she says to Cruz : "I do not want to return in the house - Why ?, he asks - That is where I have been raped." Then, she falls while crying in the arms of her husband. Eden must now face her husband, her family, the doctor and the police. "Why didn't he kill me ? It would be so much simpler to explain", says Eden, who refuses to go to the hospital where everyone knows her and chooses a small private clinic to undergo a medical examination. "When will I be able to take a bath ? she asks. I feel so dirty". To the psychiatrist, she shouts "Will I feel myself like that forever ?"
Doctor Johanna Gallers, psychologist at the Valley Trauma Center in Los Angeles - where are welcomed raped women - had been hired to read and correct the dialogue of the scenes of the rape, then of the hospital : "In Los Angeles, she says to me, a young girl on three is raped before reaching 18 years old. Only one rape on seven is denounced to the police. For this reason a scene as Eden's rape appears necessary to me on television. It is necessary to educate public but especially to severly punish the criminals. In courts, the judge-men badly understand what a woman endures during and after the rape. Fortunately, in the United States, the police started to educate police officers, men and women, on this subject (In France, too). As Marcy is pregnant, the writers were even further. They imagined that Eden was also pregnant. This baby that Eden waits, is it from Cruz, or the rapist ? They did not decide it for the moment. Eden and Cruz cross the difficult period of the after-rape... We will decide of the continuation in agreement with the producers."
While waiting, since the airing of Eden's rape, Marcy makes an advertisement, before each new episode on the network NBC which airs Santa Barbara. "I am Marcy Walker. Rape is a crime. A violent act against women who can cause emotional and physical traumatisms. If you are raped, it is important that you receive medical and psychological care. It is also important to inform the police. If you are victim of a rape, contact your center of raped women. Thank you..." Up to you now to write to us to say if you are for or against such scenes in a access-prime-time show.