Lupita was sexually assaulted by ‘The most powerful producer in Hollywood’
It’s a sexual assault story that refuses to end and one that continues to grip the world. The story of how one of the strongest men in Hollywood used his power to inflict untold misery on tens of women.
Over 40 women have come forward to accuse Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of either sexual harassment or rape on different periods.
Kenya’s import to Hollywood, the Oscar-award winning Lupita Nyong’o is the latest to gather courage and come forward with a heartbreaking story of how Harvey sexually assaulted and harassed her when she was trying to find a footing in the multi-billion dollar acting industry.
Behind the glitz and glamour of Hollwood, is a dark and lonely alley of women who carry emotional scars that they cannot share for fear of victimisation or losing a job.
In an opinion piece in the New York Times, the 12-Years-A-Slave star says she met Harvey in 2011 at an awards ceremony in Berlin, while still a student at the Yale School of Drama when an intermediary introduced him to her as “the most powerful producer in Hollywood.”
“As an aspiring actress, I was of course eager to meet people in the industry but cautious about strangers, and the intentions of men in general… 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.’”
Their first meeting went well and he followed it up with an invite to his home to watch a movie with his family.
At home, they made their way to the film room… “I settled in for the film, but about 15 minutes in, Harvey came for me, saying he wanted to show me something… 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.”
“…He agreed to this and lay on the bed. I began to massage his back to buy myself time to figure out how to extricate myself from this undesirable situation. 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. He got up anyway to do so and I headed for the door, saying that I was not at all comfortable with that. “If we’re not going to watch the film, I really should head back to school,” I said.”
Another meeting several months later, Harvey and Lupita met at a restaurant and this time, the mogul went straight to the point.
“‘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… “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,” she writes saying that he threatened her afterwards.
“I don’t know about your career, but you’ll be fine,” he said. It felt like both a threat and a reassurance at the same time; of what, I couldn’t be sure.”
After this, Lupita says she vowed to never work with the producer again and stuck to her word.
“Now that we are speaking, let us never shut up about this kind of thing. I speak up to make certain that this is not the kind of misconduct that deserves a second chance. I speak up to contribute to the end of the conspiracy of silence.
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