Actress Lupita Nyong'o reveals that she was abused by producer Harvey Weinstein. The Oscar-winning actress shares that she met the Hollywood mogul when she was a college student and he propositioned her numerous times, including asking her to give him a massage and going to a hotel room with her.
"I have felt sick in the pit of my stomach," she tells the NY Times. "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 behavior."
They first met when she was a student at Yale School of Drama in 2011. She was invited to meet him one-on-one soon after. Nyong'o remembers going to a restaurant with Weinstein and him trying to force her to drink alcohol. "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.' I smiled and remained silent."
They then went to his home—where his children and family were staying—and asked her to give him 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. 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." The actress gave him a massage, justifying that touch is a part of acting. "Part of our drama school curriculum at Yale included body work, using massage techniques on one another to understand the connection between body, mind and emotion, and so I felt I could rationalize giving him one and keep a semblance of professionalism in spite of the bizarre circumstance." She then left when the producer began to undress.
A couple of months later, the two were having dinner in New York City. Weinstein then directly asked to sleep with the actress. According to the actress, he said, "Let’s cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal."
She continued, "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."
The "12 Years A Slave" actress is one of over 40 women to come forward with allegations against Weinstein spanning decades. The allegations run the gamut from sexual harassment to rape. Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd are some of the stars that have shared abuse experiences with the former Weinstein Company head.
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