Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. The 34-year-old recalled her encounter with the disgraced Hollywood producer in a heartfelt open letter, posted in the New York Times. The star, famous for starring in 12 Years a Slave and Star Wars, revealed that Harvey had tried to lure her into his hotel room under false pretences, and then said he wanted to give her a massage - something she initially thought was a joke. "Harvey led me into a bedroom - his bedroom - and announced that he wanted to give me a massage," she wrote. "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 Nyong'o has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment
Lupita first met the movie mogul at an awards ceremony in Berlin back in 2011. She said one woman had warned her not to get on the wrong side of him as "he can be a bully". Recalling the horrific incident in the bedroom, the actress added: "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.
"I opened the door and stood by the frame. He put his shirt on and again mentioned how stubborn I was. I agreed with an easy laugh, trying to get myself out of the situation safely. I was after all on his premises, and the members of his household, the potential witnesses, were all (strategically, it seems to me now) in a soundproof room." Lupita also recalled another "uncomfortable" encounter with the film producer. But when she met him again at the premiere of 12 Years a Slave, Harvey told her that he was "ashamed of his actions" in the past. "I share all of this now because I know now what I did not know then," she added.
"I was part of a growing community of women who were secretly dealing with harassment by Harvey Weinstein. There is clearly power in numbers. I thank the women who have spoken up and given me the strength to revisit this unfortunate moment in my past." A spokesman for Harvey told People: "Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry. Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed."
Angelina Jolie is among those to accuse Harvey of sexual harassment
Harvey was recently fired from The Weinstein Company, the firm he co-founded, following the flurry of sex assault allegations made against him in the original Times article. Lupita is among many actresses who have come forward following the revelations, with Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Rose McGowan among those to accuse Harvey of sexual harassment. Harvey's wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, has since announced she is leaving him. Harvey, 65, and 41-year-old Georgina have been married since 2007, and share two children together, India Pearl, seven, and four-year-old Dashiell Max.