'I felt unsafe': Lupita Nyong'o details Harvey Weinstein's advances towards her in letter.

“I have been following the news and reading the accounts of women coming forward to talk about being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein and others. 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…”

Academy award-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o has penned a letter detailing her experience with disgraced Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, inspired by the countless women sharing their stories.

“I have felt sick in the pit of my stomach. I have felt such a flare of rage that the experience I recount below was not a unique incident with me, but rather part of a sinister pattern of behaviour,” the actress wrote for the New York Times.

After meeting Weinstein in 2011 at an awards ceremony in Berlin, Nyong’o has recalled how she was immediately advised to “keep him in her corner”.

“An intermediary introduced him to me as “the most powerful producer in Hollywood.” As an aspiring actress, I was of course eager to meet people in the industry but cautious about strangers, and the intentions of men in general.

“I exchanged contacts with him in the hopes that I would be of consideration for one of his projects. I wanted to keep things professional, so I made a point of referring to him as “Mr. Weinstein.” But he insisted that I call him by his first name. In this first encounter, I found him to be very direct and authoritative, but also charming. He didn’t quite put me at ease, but he didn’t alarm me, either.”

The letter goes on to recount her encounters with Weinstein, which reads like the familiar tale we’ve come to know as the producer’s ‘honey pot’ tactic used over three decades to systematically sexually harass and abuse women.

One of these encounters describes an invitation to a private film screening Wenstein invited Nyong’o to at his family home, during which he insisted she drink alcohol and offered to give her a ‘massage’.

"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." (Image: Getty)

"The driver and I met Harvey in the little town of Westport, where he informed me that we would be having lunch at a restaurant before getting to his home. I did not think much of this... As soon as we sat down he ordered a vodka and diet soda for himself. I asked for a juice. Harvey was unimpressed with my choice and told the waiter to bring me a vodka and diet soda instead. I declined and said I wanted the juice. We went back and forth until finally he turned to the waiter and said, “Get her what I tell you to get her. I’m the one paying the bill.”

"[During the screening at his home] 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.

"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."

The letter goes on to describe further experiences which involved Weinstein inviting her to private hotel rooms, telling her, “You have no idea what you are passing up," when she politely declined his offers.

"Now that we are speaking, let us never shut up about this kind of thing. I speak up to make certain that this is not the kind of misconduct that deserves a second chance. I speak up to contribute to the end of the conspiracy of silence."

You can read Nyong’o's full letter on the New York Times website.

LISTEN: Mamamia unpacks the Harvey Weinstein saga below...

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