“12 Years a Slave” star Lupita Nyong’o has come forward with stories of being sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein, detailing in a New York Times op-ed the multiple times in which the famous producer attempted to seduce her.
Nyong’o describes her relationship with Weinstein in 2011, while she was still a college student at Yale University. Three years before she won her Academy Award, she was still an up and coming actress in the industry.
Similar to other revelations about his sexual exploits, Weinstein tried to use his power in the industry to sway Nyong’o. He invited her to a private movie screening at his home in Connecticut, not too far from the Yale campus.
She had lunch with him and met his children, before moving to his private movie theater with a large group. Weinstein asked her to go upstairs to his bedroom and give him a massage that evening.
“I thought he was joking at first. He was not,” says the actress.
The star notes she considered giving him the massage, as it is common practice in the movie industry to help student actors understand the mind/body/emotion connection. But when Weinstein insisted she do it with his pants off, Nyong’o refused and said she needed to leave.
After meeting with Weinstein again, in a friendlier setting with two male friends, Nyong’o became more relaxed around him. Weinstein subsequently asked her out to dinner, which she believed would be a group outing. She was surprised to find Weinstein alone at the restaurant, where he confronted her with a blunt request.
“Let’s cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal,” Nyong’o claims she was told. She refused and they left the restaurant without eating.
When she asked if things between them were okay, Weinstein gave an ominous reply, revealing his manipulative tendencies.
“I don’t know about your career, but you’ll be fine,” he reportedly said.
It wasn’t until Nyong’o won her 2014 Academy Award for “12 Years a Slave” that Weinstein apologized. She never accepted an offer from his company again.
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