Latest News

Actress Lupita Nyong’o Shares Her Harrowing Harvey Weinstein Experience

"I speak up to contribute to the end of the conspiracy of silence"

Lupita Nyong’o has joined more than 40 women who have accused disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault.

In a powerful piece written for the New York Times, 34-year-old Nyong’o explains that she first encountered Weinstein at a film festival when she was still a student at Yale School of Drama.

According to the 12 Years A Slave actress, Weinstein then invited her back to his home to watch a film he had produced.

Fifteen minutes in, Nyong’o alleges that the producer asked her to leave the screening room (where his children also were) so he could show her something.

“Harvey came for me, saying he wanted to show me something. I protested that I wanted to finish the film first, but he insisted I go with him, laying down the law as though I too was one of his children,” she recounts.

“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.”

Nyong’o continues: “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.”

After telling him not to, Nyong’o managed to head for the door. 

“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.”

The Queen of Katwe actress also detailed another encounter with Weinstein, where he requested she come up to his hotel room when they were out for a meal.

“I told him I preferred to eat in the restaurant,” N’yongo said. “He told me not to be so naive. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing.”

The actress has decided to speak out about her traumatic encounters with the producer to help end the “conspiracy of silence”.

“I wish I had known that there were women in the business I could have talked to,” she shared.

“I wish I had known that there were ears to hear me. That justice could be served. There is clearly power in numbers. I thank the women who have spoken up and given me the strength to revisit this unfortunate moment in my past.”

You can read N’yongo’s full NYT piece here.

RELATED: Lena Dunham: Harvey Weinstein And The Silence Of The Men

RELATEDMen Are Responding To The Powerful #MeToo Campaign With #HowIWillChange

Related stories