KENYAN 12 YEARS A SLAVE STAR TELLS HOW WEINSTEIN PURSUED HER
Kenyan film star Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Oscar for her performance in 12 Years A Slave, has publicly stated in an article in The New York Times that she was sexually harassed by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein who has been accused by numerous actresses of harassment and even rape.
HE WANTED TO TAKE HIS PANTS OFF
Speaking of the one of the first times she met Weinstein when he invited her to his house to the screening of a film, Lupita told how he invited her into his bedroom.
‘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’.
‘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.’
Lupita Nyong’o told the New York Times how she tried to come to terms with the experience.
‘I didn’t quite know how to process the massage incident. I reasoned that it had been inappropriate and uncalled-for, but not overtly sexual. I was entering into a business where the intimate is often professional and so the lines are blurred’.
WEINSTEIN TO LUPITA – “I HAVE A PRIVATE ROOM UPSTAIRS”
Lupita said she had hoped that Weisntein had understood that he had to respect her.
‘He knew when to turn it on if he wanted something. He was definitely a bully, but he could be really charming, which was disarming and confusing. I left feeling that perhaps he had learned my boundaries and was going to respect them’.
But it soon became clear that Weinstein had not learned his lesson when he invited Lupita to dinner.
‘Harvey arrived and the assistant immediately disappeared. We ordered drinks and starters. Again he was offended by my nonalcoholic beverage choice but he didn’t fight me on it as hard. Before the starters arrived, he announced: “Let’s cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal.” I was stunned. I told him I preferred to eat in the restaurant. He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing. He said he had dated Famous Actress X and Y and look where that had gotten them’.
‘I was silent for a while before I mustered up the courage to politely decline his offer. “You have no idea what you are passing up,” he said. “With all due respect, I would not be able to sleep at night if I did what you are asking, so I must pass,” I replied’.
LUPITA – ” I WANT TO COMBAT THE SHAME”
Lupita Nyong’o wrote that she has gone public about Harvey Weistein’s sexual harassment because she wants to ‘combat the shame’ that the incidents invoked in her.
‘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’.
‘What I am most interested in now is combating the shame we go through that keeps us isolated and allows for harm to continue to be done. I wish I had known that there were women in the business I could have talked to’.
Lupita Nyong’o Speaking Out About Harvey Weinstein full article The New York Times, 19 October 2017.