Lupita Nyong’o wrote a powerful Op-Ed
Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o has revealed that disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed her on multiple occasions.
She revealed the details in a powerful new Op-Ed published in the New York Times.
READ: “We All Make Mistakes:” Harvey Weinstein Speaks Out After Sexual Harassment Allegations
In the piece, Nyong’o breaks down every interaction she had with Weinstein. Almost on every occasion, there was an example of Weinstein doing something inappropriate.
Nyong’o met Weinstein at an awards ceremony in Berlin while she was getting her MFA in Drama from Yale. After the initial meeting, she was invited to his house to watch a screening of a film. But first, they had lunch at a restaurant where he kept trying to get Nyong’o to drink a vodka and soda, something she refused to do.
Later, at his house, he kept pushing her to get a drink and she continued to refuse. While screening the movie — with his kids present — Weinstein asked her to come with him.
And that’s where things got scary:
“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.”
After a while, Weinstein announced he was taking his pants off and started to do so, despite the fact that Nyong’o told him she was uncomfortable. That’s when she made her way to the exit:
“I opened the door and stood by the frame. He put his shirt on and again mentioned how stubborn I was…I agreed with an easy laugh, trying to get myself out of the situation safely. I was after all on his premises, and the members of his household, the potential witnesses, were all (strategically, it seems to me now) in a soundproof room.”
Nyong’o met with Weinstein on two more occasions. One, where she was invited to see the Broadway play Finding Neverland and then dinner afterward, in which Weinstein was “charming” and professional. And then, a couple of months later, for a screening of the 2011 movie W.E. and then drinks after.
And they had an interaction where Weinstein was direct:
“‘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.”
She again turned him down. And he became curter. When she asked him if they were good he responded by saying “I don’t know about your career, but you’ll be fine.”
Nyong’o bumped into Weinstein one more time, after she won the Oscar for 12 Years a Slave:
“He said he couldn’t believe how fast I had gotten to where I was, and that he had treated me so badly in the past. He was ashamed of his actions and he promised to respect me moving forward. I said thank you and left it at that. But I made a quiet promise to myself to never ever work with Harvey Weinstein.”
Nyong is the latest A-list celebrity to speak out against Weinstein. She joins Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Rose McGowan who all alleged sexual harassment or abuse from Weinstein.
Read Nyong’o’s powerful piece here.