Lupita Nyong’o is the latest woman in Hollywood to come forward, accusing Harvey Weinstein of making a move on her. The Oscar-winning actress detailed the encounter in an op-ed piece in The New York Times.
6 years ago when the 12 Years a Slave actress was still a Yale student, she met the powerful movie producer at a movie festival and was invited to his Connecticut home to allegedly watch a movie he had just produced. About 15 minutes into the film, Weinstein shot his shot with the kids in the house. “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,” Lupita wrote.
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.
Lupita had studied massages as apart of her drama studies at Yale, and used what she learned to manipulate the situation in her favor.
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.
It was long until Weinstein expressed his desire to remove his pants, but Lupita explained to him that it’ll make her uncomfortable. But he proceeded to do what he wanted to anyway.
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.
The actress fortunately talked her way out of the situation and made it to the bedroom door.
I opened the door and stood by the frame. He put his shirt on and again mentioned how stubborn I was. I agreed with an easy laugh, trying to get myself out of the situation safely.
She figured that she better play it safe because they were coincidentally in a soundproof room, on his premises, and his children could serve as potential witnesses for their father. Lupita was tight-lipped about this horrible encounter for years and blames herself for remaining silent.
I had shelved my experience with Harvey far in the recesses of my mind, joining in the conspiracy of silence that has allowed this predator to prowl for so many years,” she said. “I had felt very much alone when these things happened, and I had blamed myself for a lot of it, quite like many of the other women who have shared their stories.
Since these allegations surfaced, Weinstein has been fired from his own movie company and accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and abuse. In addition, his own brother accused him of verbal and physical abuse. Weinstein denies all of these claims, saying every encounter he had was consensual.