Lupita Nyongo'o has penned an extraordinary piece for the New York Times detailing multiple experiences of sexual harassment from Harvey Weinstein. Tellingly, as Nyong'o's fame grew, Weinstein's attitude towards her changed dramatically.
The massage incident wasn't her final encounter with Weinstein.
The pair first met at an awards show in Berlin, while Nyong'o was still studying drama at Yale. "There was more to it than just the normal rumours, the normal gossip. He can be a bully".
It wouldn't be her last encounter with Weinstein. Weinstein invited the actress to his CT house to watch a film with his family. In accordance with the Academy's established procedures, it was overwhelmingly chose to initiate disciplinary proceedings concerning Academy member Harvey Weinstein; such proceedings could result in action up to and including termination of Academy membership.
He expressed how he wanted to take off his trousers.
Do yourself a favour and read Nyongo's full op-ed here.
Harvey led me into a bedroom - his bedroom - and announced that he wanted to give me a massage. I told him not to do that and informed him that it would make me extremely uncomfortable.
"I knew enough to do more than I did", Oscar-winning Tarantino, 54, told the paper of his friend and mentor, citing several episodes involving prominent actresses. He agreed to this and lay on the bed.
She says that she managed to turn him down, and left without eating. "He got up anyway to do so and I headed for the door, saying that I was not at all comfortable with that". Not wanting to have a back-and-forth in front of his children and his household staff, who were watching the movie with them, she complied.
Nyong'o later vowed to herself to never work with Weinstein.
Before appetisers arrived, she recounted, Weinstein said: "Let's cut to the chase". I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal.' I was stunned. "And she told me she thought that was disgusting". He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing. He said he had dated Famous Actress X and Y and look where that had gotten them.
"You have no idea what you are passing up", he said, Nyong'o recalled. She later added that nothing "excuses men for assaulting or abusing women" and women should be able to wear whatever they want and act however they want.
At the Toronto premiere of 12 Years a Slave in September 2013, the actress and producer crossed paths again.
When he finally accepted her decision to decline the role, he said he still wanted to work with her in the future.
"I couldn't believe he would do that so openly. He was ashamed of his actions and he promised to respect me moving forward". "What's the difference between the treatment I received then and the treatment I receive now?" "The minute you actually stand up for yourself in Hollywood, you're the insane one", she said. In an attempt to gain control of the situation, she says she offered to give him a massage instead - a recurring practice during body work sessions at drama school, which is how Nyong'o now says she rationalized keeping "a semblance of professionalism in spite of the freaky circumstance". "For the first time since I met him, I felt unsafe. I knew he did a couple of these things". "I have felt such a flare of rage that the experience".