Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o has revealed that she, too was a victim of Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein’s reign of sexually predatory behavior. The actress wrote an op-ed for The New York Times where she detailed her naiveté in her dealings with Weinstein at the start of her career.
She says that on several occasions, Weinstein tried to make business meetings personal. In one nauseating example, Nyong’o details Weinstein luring her to his bedroom at his home, and while his children watched a movie in another room, offered her a massage.
In an emotional op-ed published in The New York Times Thursday, the Oscar-winning actress details a series of alleged uncomfortable encounters with the disgraced mogul dating back to her days at the Yale School of Drama.
In a statement to PEOPLE, a spokesperson for Weinstein said the movie mogul remembered these encounters: “Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry. Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed.”
Shortly after their first meeting, the actress says she received an invitation to a film screening at his family’s home in Westport, Conn., which was not far from where she was living at the time. Nyong’o claims she met Weinstein’s driver in the town of Westport, and was informed that she and the producer would be having lunch at a restaurant before the screening. “I did not think much of this,” she says.
When they arrived, Nyong’o says she sat down with Weinstein, who allegedly became frustrated with her when she declined to order an alcoholic beverage. She claims the producer ordered a vodka and diet soda for himself and urged her to do the same. When she declined, she says he forced the waiter to bring the drink anyway, and when it arrived, “Harvey told me that I needed to drink.” The two continued to have a back-and-forth about the drink until Nyong’o says Weinstein eventually gave up, calling her “stubborn.”
After lunch, they went back to Weinstein’s home, where she met his “domestic staff and his young children.” Then she says Weinstein assembled the family and put the movie on for everyone to watch. About 15 minutes later, Nyong’o says Weinstein “came for me, saying he wanted to show me something.” She claims she initially protested, but in the interest of avoiding another back-and-forth argument in front of his children, she eventually relented.
PHOTO: PR Photos
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