Actress Emma Watson, best known for her role in the Harry Potter movies, has denied that bullying caused her to take a break from the prestigious Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.
“I’ve never been bullied in my life,” says 21-year-old Watson in a statement on her website.
The BBC cites “media reports” that say that students at Brown teased Watson about her role as Hermione Granger in the popular witches-and-wizards films of J. K. Rowling’s seven Potter books.
The young actress enrolled at Brown in September 2009. Reports say that some students have teased her by shouting “Ten points to Gryffindor” when she has successfully answered a question in class.
This is a reference to the house at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in which Granger, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and Harry’s best friend Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) are placed in the books and the movies. Hermione Granger is noted as being something of a swat, always thrusting up her hand when a teacher asks a question.
However, on her website, under the salutation “Dear all,” Watson says:
I felt the need to let you all know the reason I took a semester off from Brown had nothing to do with bullying as the media have been suggesting recently. I have never been bullied in my life and certainly never at Brown. This “10 points to Gryffindor” incident never even happened. I feel the need to say this because accusing Brown students of something as serious as bullying and this causing me to leave seems beyond unfair.
As for her next move, she asks her readers not to try to speculate about what she will do in September, adding, “no one can possibly know because I don’t even know yet!”