'I had to say yes'
The past few months have been consumed by the Harvey Weinstein allegations, with the Hollywood producer accused of sexual harassment and in some cases assault by over 50 women, with each week seeing new accusations emerge.
The alleged victims range from Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow to Uma Thurman and Rose McGowan, with even those who haven’t experienced harassment speaking out to stand with their sisters.
Hollywood actress Salma Hayek is the latest high profile name to speak out about the producer, explaining that he even went as far as threatening to kill her.
In an op-ed that she wrote for the New York Times, the 51-year-old actress detailed her encounters with Weinstein from when they worked together on the Academy Award winning 2002 film, Frida.
Salma, who had originally pitched the script to Weinstein, explained how she was confronted by an endless string of sexual advances, that she turned down continuously.
‘No to me taking a shower with him.
‘No to letting him watch me take a shower.
‘No to letting him give me a massage.
‘No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage.
‘No to letting him give me oral sex.
‘No to my getting naked with another woman,’ she wrote.
‘I don’t think he hated anything more than the word “no” – the range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”’
Going on to recall one particular moment mid-production, Salma explained how Weinstein had threatened to shut the film down unless she filmed a completely nude love scene with another actress.
‘This time, it was clear to me he would never let me finish this movie without him having his fantasy one way or another. There was no room for negotiation,’ she explained. ‘I had to say yes.’
Explaining how she had to get through the scene, Salma explained, ‘I had to take a tranquilliser, which eventually stopped the crying but made the vomiting worse – as you can imagine, this was not sexy, but it was the only way I could get through the scene.’
She continued: ‘Since those around me had no knowledge of my history of Harvey, they were very surprised by my struggle that morning. It was not because I would be naked with another woman. It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein. But I could not tell them then.’
She went on to explain how the whole experience left her ‘so emotionally distraught that [she] had to distance [herself] during the postproduction.’
‘I went to war and I won, but why do so many of us, as female artists, have to go to war to tell our stories when we have so much to offer? Until there is equality in our industry, with men and women having the same value in every aspect of it, our community will continue to be a fertile ground for predators.’