After hinting a few months ago that she would soon be willing to talk about her experiences of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood, Uma Thurman is now opening up about the extent of that trauma. In a lengthy interview with the New York Times, Thurman alleges Harvey Weinsten “attacked” her multiple times throughout the early stages of her career, following the success of Pulp Fiction. “He used to spend hours talking to me about material and complimenting my mind and validating me. It possibly made me overlook warning signs,” she explained about Weinstein’s demeanor, before he made his first sexual advance in a Parisian hotel room. “It went right over my head … I didn’t feel threatened. I thought he was being super idiosyncratic, like this was your kooky, eccentric uncle … then I followed him through a door and it was a steam room. And I was standing there in my full black leather outfit — boots, pants, jacket. And it was so hot and I said, ‘This is ridiculous, what are you doing?’ And he was getting very flustered and mad and he jumped up and ran out.”
The first physical attack from Weinstein occurred shortly thereafter in a London hotel room, Thurman claims, which she was able to dodge.
It was such a bat to the head. He pushed me down. He tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things. But he didn’t actually put his back into it and force me. You’re like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard. I was doing anything I could to get the train back on the track. My track. Not his track.
Thinking she could confront Weinstein and clear the air about what occurred that evening, Thurman asked him to meet her at the hotel’s bar for a conversation. When she arrived a few days later, she says Weinstein’s assistants pressured her into leaving the bar and meeting him upstairs in his room. She reluctantly agreed, and allegedly told Weinstein the following when she walked in: “If you do what you did to me to other people you will lose your career, your reputation and your family, I promise you.”
However, Thurman’s memory of their encounter stops there, with her friend Ilona Herman recalling what happened when she finally returned downstairs after a long period of time. “She was very disheveled and so upset and had this blank look,” Herman said. “Her eyes were crazy and she was totally out of control. I shoveled her into the taxi and we went home to my house. She was really shaking.”
Through a representative, Weinstein denied any wrongdoing, stating that the duo had a “a flirtatious and fun working relationship.” Since the attacks, Thurman says she could tolerate being in supervised group settings with Weinstein, believing she had “aged out of the window of his assault range.” She also says Weinstein gave her a “half-assed apology” years later when she confronted him about their meetings.