Hollywood actress and daughter to Kisumu Governor Lupita Nyong’o has accused a renown Hollywood Producer – Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.
Lupita joins a long queue of female industry payers who accused Weinstein who is known for producing blockbusters like Django Unchained for sexual harassment following a New York Times and New Yoker magazine expose’.
In an op-ed published in the New York Times on Thursday, Lupita narrates the instances of harassment encountered at the hands of Weinstein who has since been kicked off the management of The Weinstein Company, a film production house that he co-founded with his brother Bob Weinstein.
“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,” Lupita explains of her first instance with harassment during a visit to Weinstein’s home for a movie screening.
Lupita blames herself for not being able to come out with this soon enough, even blaming herself for some of it.
“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.
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 was not a unique incident with me, but rather part of a sinister pattern of behavior.”
Lupita says she had been warned of Weinstein’s behavior before she even interacted with him but she did not take it too seriously.
“A woman who was a producer herself cautiously advised me to “keep Harvey in your corner.” She said: “He is a good man to know in the business, but just be careful around him. He can be a bully.” And so I exchanged contacts with him in the hopes that I would be considered 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.”
In the 2,980 words article, Lupita also acknowledges that her ambition to succeed in the film industry could have also played a role in making her vulnerable to harassment.
“His offer to me to be a part of the HBO show was a very attractive one and I was excited about it, especially as I would be graduating in another year. I didn’t know how to proceed without jeopardizing my future,” she says.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne are some of the famous actors who with several other female players in the film industry are accusing Weinstein for sexual harassment.
Gerorgina Chapman who has been with him since 2007 and mother to his two kids has filed for divorce following the allegations of sexual harassments. Weinstein is currently at a sex addiction rehab in Arizona.