Asia Argento, one of three women who accused producer Harvey Weinstein of rape in a New Yorker article, among a significantly larger group of women who have accused the producer of decades of sexual harassment and misconduct, released a film Scarlet Diva in 2000 that includes scenes inspired by her alleged interactions with Weinstein. The Italian actress, who was 21 when she was invited to Weinstein’s hotel room under the pretext of an invitation to a party in 1997, claimed that he asked her to give him a massage, forced her legs apart, and performed oral sex on her as she repeatedly told him to stop. Weinstein continued to make advances on Argento afterward, and eventually she submitted, engaging in consensual sexual encounters and forming a friendship with him. “The thing with being a victim is I felt responsible,” she told The New Yorker. “Because if I were a strong woman, I would have kicked him in the balls and run away. But I didn’t. And so I felt responsible.” Argento said she feared that Weinstein would ruin her career if she did comply with him.
In Scarlet Diva, a clip from which Argento shared on Twitter, her character, Anna, is cornered by a producer in a hotel room who begs for a massage while holding the possibility of a movie deal over her. Argento told The New Yorker that after she released the film, Weinstein recognized himself in it and said he was “sorry for whatever happened.” The scene does include one significant departure from Argento’s own experience: “In the movie I wrote,” she said. “I ran away.”