Joining the strings of actresses to come forward and give account of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual onslaught is Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o – accusing the movie mogul of harassment. And, she’s sharing it in hopes of doing her part to end what she calls in a New York Times op-ed a “conspiracy of silence.”
• Her narrative
In her piece, Nyong’o who won best supporting actress Oscar for 12 Years a Slave recounts several encounters with Weinstein, whom she met while she was still a student at the Yale School of Dram
Nyong’o writes of an incident that took place after she was invited to a screening of a film at Weinstein’s house, where he said they were going to watch one of his competitor’s films with his family.
Nyong’o was a drama student at the time of the alleged incident.
Once at his house, Nyong’o alleges Weinstein led her into a bedroom and offered to give her a massage. She declined.
‘I felt unsafe’, she said as she narrated the ordeal.
The 34-year old Kenyan-Mexican actress wrote: “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”, she continued, adding that she was trying to keep a “semblance of professionalism” in the “bizarre” circumstances, as she had studied body work and massage while at Yale.
She stressed that she was trying to “buy time”, to “figure out how to extricate” herself from the 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”, she narrated.
• Weinstein conjured another encounter
Similarly on another occasion, she attended a screening with Weinstein and expected there to be a group of people for dinner. But to her surprise, she said it was only herself and Weinstein, who suggested they continue their meal in a private room.
She refused and said that when she asked Harvey if they were “good”, he allegedly said: “I don’t know about your career, but you’ll be fine.”
“It felt like both a threat and a reassurance at the same time,” she wrote.
• The fear factor
When the duo met again at the premiere of 12 Years a Slave, Weinstein told her he had treated her badly in the past and was “ashamed of his actions”. Though, she thanked him but vowed to never work with the producer, she revealed.
“I share all of this now because I know now what I did not know then. I was part of a growing community of women who were secretly dealing with harassment by Harvey Weinstein. There is clearly power in numbers. I thank the women who have spoken up and given me the strength to revisit this unfortunate moment in my past”, Nyong’o wrote.