Actress Salma Hayek has come forward with a horrifying and searing account of her experiences with disgraced film executive Harvey Weinstein, who she said harassed her with sexual demands and furiously threatened: “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”
Hayek, in a New York Times op-ed headlined “Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too,” published Wednesday, revealed how she opened the door to the then-Hollywood kingpin during the making of her 2002 film, “Frida,” her passion project about the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Her “yes” to the movie deal, she wrote, quickly led to having to tell Weinstein “no.”
“No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with. 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. No, no, no, no, no,” she wrote.
When sweet talk and persistence failed him, Hayek said Weinstein resorted to “Machiavellian rage.” Once, she wrote, “in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, ‘I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.’”
She also described a “nervous breakdown” she had when Weinstein forced her into a full-frontal nudity sex scene with another woman. Hayek said her “body wouldn’t stop crying and convulsing.”
“I started throwing up while a set frozen still waited to shoot,” she wrote. “I had to take a tranquilizer, 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.”
Hayek’s account comes two months after explosive reports in The New York Times and The New Yorker detailed decades of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct. Dozens of other women have since come forward with stories about Weinstein, who has been ousted from the company he co-founded, dumped by his wife, Georgina Chapman, and kicked out of the academy that awards the Oscars.
The allegations against Weinstein have set in motion a historic reckoning against sexual harassers and assaulters, toppling powerful men in entertainment, the media, politics and sports.
Hayek said she hadn’t spoken up earlier because she “brainwashed” herself “into thinking that it was over and that [she] had survived.”
“I hid from the responsibility to speak out with the excuse that enough people were already involved in shining a light on my monster. … In reality, I was trying to save myself the challenge of explaining several things to my loved ones: Why, when I had casually mentioned that I had been bullied like many others by Harvey, I had excluded a couple of details. And why, for so many years, we have been cordial to a man who hurt me so deeply,” she wrote.
Hayek acknowledged the movement sparked by the Weinstein stories, writing that she is “grateful for everyone who is listening to our experiences.”
“I hope that adding my voice to the chorus of those who are finally speaking out will shed light on why it is so difficult, and why so many of us have waited so long. Men sexually harassed because they could. Women are talking today because, in this new era, we finally can.”
You can read Hayek’s op-ed here.