“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’.