LUPITA Nyong’o the Kenyan actress who won an Oscar for her performance in 12 Years A Slave, has alleged that shamed film producer, Harvey Weinstein, sexually harassed her when she was a drama student breaking into the film industry.
In a disturbing article for the New York Times, the 34-year-old actress says she met Weinstein in 2011 at an awards ceremony while she was a student at the Yale School of Drama and was invited to a screening of a film at his house in Westport, Connecticut with his family.
Before the screening took place Lupita claimed that Harvey insisted that she have an alcoholic drink at dinner, despite her protests.
She wrote: ‘I asked for a juice. Harvey was unimpressed with my choice and told the waiter to bring me a vodka and diet soda instead. I declined and said I wanted the juice. ‘We went back and forth until finally he turned to the waiter and said, “Get her what I tell you to get her. I’m the one paying the bill.”’
Lupita says she refused to drink the vodka but joined Weinstein’s family to watch a film from a rival production company. However, she alleges that Harvey called her out of the room shortly after the film began.
She wrote: ‘Harvey led me into a bedroom — his bedroom — and announced that he wanted to give me 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.’
Lupita began to massage Harvey, who was shirtless, but said: ‘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.’
The actress says she joined Weinstein for a dinner a couple of months later before another film screening, where she alleges that the producer suggested they finish their meal in his ‘private room’, with the 65-year-old allegedly telling her: ‘If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing.’
Lupita declined his offer, and turned down a future offer to work on a Weinstein Company produced film. The star ended her article by urging women ‘never shut up about this kind of thing’.
Lupita is the latest in a string of high-profile women who have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Kate Beckinsale.