Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o is the latest woman to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. In a recent article penned by the actress herself, she describes in detail her encounters with Harvey Weinstein from the first to the last. Lupita writes that she is sharing her story in the hopes of helping end what she calls a “conspiracy of silence.”
Read on to learn more about Lupita Nyong’o and Harvey Weinstein.
1. She Wrote a Piece for the New York Times About Her Experience with Weinstein
Nyong’o wrote a piece for the New York Times about her uncomfortable encounters with Weinstein, and they bear a strong resemblance to accounts from tens of other women who have accused Harvey of inappropriate behavior. Nyong’o starts the essay, “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. 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’s spokespeople are telling ABC News that Nyong’o’s accounts of the experiences are not true. “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.’” According to ABC, Weinstein specifically denies telling Lupita that if she wanted to be an actress, she’d “have to be willing to do this sort of thing.”
The spokesperson’s statement read:
Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual… Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.
The producer, once considered the most powerful in the industry, has reportedly checked into sex rehab in Arizona. His wife, Georgina, has left him and he has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences.
2. Nyong’o Says Harvey Asked If He Could Give Her a Massage in His Private Bedroom
Nyong’o writes that not long after making his acquaintance in Berlin (an encounter she said “didn’t put her at ease” but didn’t “alarm her either”) she was invited to Harvey’s home in Connecticut for a film screening.
Nyong’o says upon arriving at the house, which was not far from where she was studying acting at Yale, she was introduced to Harvey’s children, and taken on a tour of his Westport home. Nyong’o then proceeded to watch just 15 minutes of a film in the screening room of the house before Harvey invited her to his private bedroom. There, he asked Lupita if he could give her a massage; she says that she panicked and said she would give him one– as an actress, she had been taught massage techniques to understand the connection of mind, body, and emotion.
Lupita explains that she began to massage his back, but all the while was trying to figure out how to remove herself from the uncomfortable situation. Harvey then asked if he could take off his pants and Lupita said not do to that. Weinstein ignored her, and got up to pull his pants off, at which point she fled, saying, “If we’re not going to watch the film, I really should head back to school.”
3. Harvey Accepted an Invitation by Nyong’o to Watch Her in a Performance at Yale
In her piece, Nyong’o explains that Harvey accepted an invitation to see her perform in a play. She says she viewed it as a way for him to see what she “really had to offer”, and he could see her classmates perform, too.
On the night of the performance, he said he had gotten caught up in New York and would be unable to make it, but that he’d make it up to her. When Harvey later extended an invitation to Lupita to come see his new Broadway show, “Finding Neverland”, he said she could bring whomever she wanted. Lupita chose “two trusted male friends.” Her impression of the night was:
He knew when to turn [the charm] on if he wanted something. He was definitely a bully, but he could be really charming, which was disarming and confusing.
4. Lupita Says She Has Promised Herself to Never Ever Work with Harvey Weinstein
In 2014, after winning her Oscar, Nyong’o received an offer to play a role in a Weinstein film. She writes, “I knew I would not do it simply because it was the Weinstein Company, but I did not feel comfortable telling this to anybody.”
Because her agent was with her, Nyong’o agreed to meet with Harvey so he could discuss the film. In the meeting, Nyong’o says Harvey was honest, and openly admitted he was trying to get her involved in his next project. She said that she didn’t feel the role was one she needed to play.
Friends and fans have taken to Twitter to express their support for Nyong’o, and to comment on her bravery in publishing the difficult piece. One fan wrote, “What a brave women”. Others have commented on the value of the article, calling it “A well written piece and an indictment of our culture.”
5. She Was a Student at Yale School of Drama When She Met Weinstein
Lupito was a student at Yale School of Drama when she met Harvey at an awards ceremony in Berlin. Recalling the experience, she says, “As an aspiring actress, I was of course eager to meet people in the industry but cautious about strangers, and the intentions of men in general.” A dinner table companion she met on the night of the awards ceremony told her to “keep Harvey in [her] corner.”
Lupita graduated in 2012 from the Yale School of Drama– she had spent the years between her undergrad at Hampshire College (where she earned her degree in film and theater studies) and Yale working as part of the production on a number of films like The Constant Gardener, The Namesake.
Nyong’o, now 34, has completed filming on Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Black Panther. She is rumored to be a part of the new Charlie’s Angels movie, though that has yet to be confirmed.