Salma Hayek has come forward with an essay, detailing her alleged experiences working with Harvey Weinstein, claiming unwanted sexual advances and threats of violence.
In a piece for the New York Times, the Oscar-nominated actor writes that she spent years saying no to the disgraced producer following his demands for sexual activity with her. She joins numerous other women in Hollywood who have accused Weinstein of similar impropriety.
“No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with,” she writes. “No to me taking a shower with him. No to letting him watch me take a shower. No to letting him give me a massage. No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage. No to letting him give me oral sex. No to my getting naked with another woman.”
She writes that every refusal was met with “Harvey’s Machiavellian rage” and while he often tried to sweet-talk her to get his way, threats would also be part of his armory. One time, she claims, “in an attack of fury” he said to her: “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”
Hayek worked with Weinstein on Frida, a biopic of the artist Frida Kahlo. After refusing to sleep with him, she alleges that he tried to remove her from the project despite the fact she had steered it in the first place. Once she met his demands with regards to the script and budget, he agreed to let her star.
But during production, he complained that she wasn’t using her physical attributes enough. “He offered me one option to continue,” she writes. “He would let me finish the film if I agreed to do a sex scene with another woman. And he demanded full-frontal nudity. He had been constantly asking for more skin, for more sex.”
She agreed, not wanting the production to fold. “I arrived on the set the day we were to shoot the scene that I believed would save the movie,” she writes. “And for the first and last time in my career, I had a nervous breakdown: My body began to shake uncontrollably, my breath was short and I began to cry and cry, unable to stop, as if I were throwing up tears.”
The film ended with six Oscar nominations, including one for Hayek as best actress. She writes that even when she would see him after the release, he “terrified” her.
“Until there is equality in our industry, with men and women having the same value in every aspect of it, our community will continue to be a fertile ground for predators,” she writes.”I am grateful for everyone who is listening to our experiences. I hope that adding my voice to the chorus of those who are finally speaking out will shed light on why it is so difficult, and why so many of us have waited so long.”
Hayek’s allegations follow on from other testimonies from women in Hollywood, including Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Annabella Sciorra who have also claimed sexual impropriety on Weinstein’s part.
Weinstein has denied any criminal behavior. A statement from his lawyer released earlier this month read: “Mr Weinstein has never at any time committed an act of sexual assault, and it is wrong and irresponsible to conflate claims of impolitic behavior or consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of criminal conduct.”