Actress Lupita Nyong'o has opened up about her own personal encounters with Harvey Weinstein, in an op-ed for the New York Times. The actress claims the Hollywood producer harassed her when she was first becoming a Hollywood star.
She said, "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.""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. But now that this is being discussed openly, I have not been able to avoid the memories resurfacing."
Lupita first met Harvey in 2011 at an awards ceremony in Berlin while she was a student at the Yale School of Drama.
She said that at one point, she was at Harvey's home hoping to watch a film when he announced that he wanted to give her a massage.
She said, "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 she had dinner with Harvey in New York City at a later time, and he asked if they could enjoy their meal in a private room upstairs - but she declined. She said, "We got up, having not eaten anything, and he led me out of the restaurant. My heart was beating very fast. A cab was hailed for me."
She said, "Before I got in, I needed to make sure that I had not awakened a beast that would go on to ruin my name and destroy my chances in the business even before I got there. She told him, 'I just want to know that we are good.'"
She said that he replied, 'I don't know about your career, but you'll be fine.'
She said those words felt like both a threat and a reassurance at the same time.Lupita wrote, "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. But I also did not know that there was a world in which anybody would care about my experience with him. Now that we are speaking, let us never shut up about this kind of thing..."
A rep for Harvey Weinstein responded to Lupita’s op-ed, saying, "Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry. Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed."