• 02:40
  • 12.04.2021
‘I panicked’: Lupita shares her Weinstein story

‘I panicked’: Lupita shares her Weinstein story

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Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o has accused Harvey Weinstein of making a move on her that she dodged by giving him a massage to avoid something potentially worse.
Back in 2011 when the 12 Years a Slave actress was still a student at Yale, Nyong’o said she met the powerful Hollywood mogul at a film festival and he allegedly invited her back to his home in Westport, Connecticut, to watch a film he had just produced.
Fifteen minutes into the film, Weinstein — with his kids in the house at the time — allegedly made his creepy move.
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“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,” Nyong’o wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece.
“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.”
Nyong’o had studied massage as part of her drama school curriculum at Yale and figured this was her best move to control the suddenly scary situation.
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“I felt I could rationalise giving him one and keep a semblance of professionalism despite the bizarre circumstance,” she wrote. “He agreed to this and lay on the bed. I began to massage his back to buy myself time to figure out how to extricate myself from this undesirable situation.
“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 said she made it to the bedroom door and talked her way out of the scene.
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“I opened the door and stood by the frame. He put his shirt on and again mentioned how stubborn I was. I agreed with an easy laugh, trying to get myself out of the situation safely,” Nyong’o wrote.
“I was after all on his premises, and the members of his household, the potential witnesses, were all (strategically, it seems to me now) in a soundproof room.”
Nyong’o kept quiet about the weird interaction for all these years — and now blames herself for not speaking out earlier.
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“I had shelved my experience with Harvey far in the recesses of my mind, joining in the conspiracy of silence that has allowed this predator to prowl for so many years,” she said. “I had felt very much alone when these things happened, and I had blamed myself for a lot of it, quite like many of the other women who have shared their stories.”
Weinstein — whose been fired from his movie company — has been accused by numerous women of sex harassment and abuse. He has denied the allegations and said any encounters he’s had were consensual.
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