Lupita Nyong’o Accuses Harvey Weinstein of Sexual Harrassment; Weinstein Denies

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Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Lupita Nyong’o has come forward with her own alleged experiences of harassment by Harvey Weinstein in an op-ed written for the New York Times. In the op-ed, Nyong’o detailed several encounters with Weinstein. The second of these meetings was a screening of a movie at Weinstein’s house in Westport, Connecticut. After Nyong’o and Weinstein had lunch at a local restaurant where Weinstein repeatedly insisted she order an alcoholic beverage to the point of telling the waiter, “Get her what I tell you to get her. I’m the one paying the bill,” they went to his house for the screening. Only minutes into the screening, Weinstein reportedly insisted Nyong’o accompany him into another room to show her something. He led her to a bedroom, and reportedly said he wanted to give her 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.”

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After Weinstein allegedly said he wanted to take off his pants, Nyong’o said that it would make her “extremely uncomfortable.” Nyong’o claims that Weinstein allegedly got up to take off his pants despite her objections. After this encounter, Nyong’o writes that she decided not to “have any more visits to private spaces with Harvey Weinstein.” In their fourth encounter, she attended a screening of W.E. in Tribeca. Afterward, Nyong’o went to have drinks with Weinstein and what she thought would be a group of people at the Tribeca Grill, but when she arrived, she was greeted by a female assistant who left after Weinstein entered. It was at this meeting that Weinstein allegedly pressured her repeatedly to go with him to a private room upstairs to finish their 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.”

Nyong’o repeatedly denied Weinstein’s overtures, and eventually, Weinstein said they are “done here” and she “can leave.” Nyong’o asked if the two were still on good terms, to which Weinstein replied, “I don’t know about your career, but you’ll be fine.”

Update, October 20: Harvey Weinstein has responded to Lupita Nyong’o’s claim. His spokesperson gave a statement to E! saying that he “has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry.” His rep adds: “Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed.”

Lupita Nyong’o Opens Up About Harassment by Harvey Weinstein