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Now, Lupita Nyong'o accuses Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment

News Agencies | Updated on: 20 October 2017, 11:34 IST

The latest Hollywood actress to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment is '12 Years a Slave' star Lupita Nyong'o.

In an Op-Ed for The New York Times, the Oscar-winning actress has opened up about her own personal encounters with Weinstein when she was first becoming a Hollywood star.

"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," she wrote, as reported by E! Online.

"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."

Lupita continued, "But now that this is being discussed openly, I have not been able to avoid the memories resurfacing. 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 behavior."

The 34-year-old initially met Weinstein in 2011. Weinstein at first charmed her, so she was not cautious when he invited her to his Connecticut home, ostensibly to watch a movie with his family. But first, they stopped at a local restaurant for lunch, where Weinstein tried to get her to drink alcohol.

"I found him pushy and idiosyncratic more than anything," she said of their second meeting.

Nyong'o said that they next went back to his home, where she met his family and Weinstein set her up to watch the film with them in his private screening room.

According to Nyong'o, Weinstein interrupted the film after just 15 minutes and led her to his private bedroom, announcing that he wanted to give her a massage.

"I thought he was joking at first. He was not. For the first time since I met him, I felt unsafe," she wrote.

"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, she wrote, 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." The incident then ended and she left the home.

Nyong's admits, "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." She added: "But I knew I would not be accepting any more visits to private spaces with Harvey Weinstein."

However, he allegedly made another untoward pass at her at a subsequent dinner meeting where she alleges he tried to get her to join him in a private room. She said she once again rebuffed his proposal.

At that instance she claims he didn't' threaten her career, but she did worry that he might say something to someone that would put it in jeopardy.

Nyong'o did not see him until the premiere of '12 Years A Slave'. He apologised for past behaviors. "I said thank you and left it at that. But I made a quiet promise to myself to never ever work with Harvey Weinstein."

A growing number of actresses, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan and Cara Delevingne, have recently come forward with their own alleged experiences of harassment by Harvey Weinstein. 


First published: 20 October 2017, 11:34 IST