Famous Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o has spoken out about secretly dealing with sexual harassment from producer Harvey Weinstein.
In an opinion she wrote for New York Times, Lupita revealed that she is one of the women who have been harassed in promise of career growth.
This comes shortly after over 40 women came out publicly and accused Harvey Weinstein, one of Hollywood’s most successful producers of sexual harassment.
Nyong’o said her first encounter with Weinstein was while she was a student attending the Berlin Film Festival, where she was at a dinner with the producer.
Shortly after their meeting, she says she was invited to a screening at Westport, Connecticut, by the producer who asked that he massage her.
“Harvey led me into a bedroom; his bedroom and announced that he wanted to give me a massage. I thought he was joking at first. He was not. For the first time since I met him, I felt unsafe. I panicked a little and thought quickly to offer to give him one instead: It would allow me to be in control physically, to know exactly where his hands were at all times.
Part of our drama school curriculum at Yale included body work, using massage techniques on one another to understand the connection between body, mind and emotion, and so I felt I could rationalize giving him one and keep a semblance of professionalism in spite of the bizarre circumstance. He agreed to this and lay on the bed. I began to massage his back to buy myself time to figure out how to extricate myself from this undesirable situation. Before long he said he wanted to take off his pants. I told him not to do that and informed him that it would make me extremely uncomfortable. He got up anyway to do so and I headed for the door, saying that I was not at all comfortable with that. If we’re not going to watch the film, I really should head back to school, I said,” reads part of her revelation.
The actress says although a few meetings with Weinstein after that were civil, another one was not. Weinstein through his assistant invited her for another meeting. It was at dinner that he made his intentions known: ““Let’s cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal,” he told her.
“He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing. He said he had dated Famous Actress X and Y and look where that had gotten them,” she says. Lupita refused to do anything like that and Weinstein sent her away.
Lupita is among many women who have come out to accuse Weinstein of sexually harassing them as they tried to advance their career.
One of the first cases was from Ashley Judd an actress who claims she was sexually harassed two decades ago.
Judd claims that she went to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for a business breakfast meeting with Weinstein and while there, a bathrobe-clad Weinstein asked if he could give her a massage or she could watch him shower.
"Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it's simply beyond time to have the conversation public,” she told New York Times.
However, amid all these allegations a spokeswoman for Weinstein denied the rape allegations in a statement provided to CNN.
"Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein," the statement read. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.