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Lupita Nyong'o Details Harvey Weinstein Assault: 'I Felt Unsafe'

"I speak up to contribute to the end of the conspiracy of silence," she wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times. 

Lupita Nyong'o has come forward with a troubling account of unwanted advances she received from Harvey Weinstein and how fellow industry heads can lead the fight against sexual assault.

In an op-ed for The New York Times Thursday (Oct. 18) the Academy-award winning actress explained how she was unaware that other actresses were subjected to Weinstein's behavior and just how bad it was. After meeting in 2011 during her time at Yale School of Drama, Nyong'o recalled the time she was invited to his home for a screening of a film. The two had dinner before the screening, where he pressured her to drink alcohol. He wasn't thrilled that she refused, calling her "stubborn."

“Harvey told me that I needed to drink the vodka and diet soda. I informed him that I would not,” she wrote. “‘Why not?’ I remember him asking. ‘Because I don’t like vodka, and I don’t like diet soda, and I don’t like them together,’ I said. ‘You are going to drink that,’ he insisted. I smiled again and said that I wouldn’t. He gave up and called me stubborn. I said, ‘I know.'”

After meeting his domestic staff and children, Weinstein led her into his bedroom, offering a massage. To remain in control of the situation, Nyong'o requested to give the massage instead.

"Part of our drama school curriculum at Yale included body work, using massage techniques on one another to understand the connection between body, mind and emotion, and so I felt I could rationalize giving him one and keep a semblance of professionalism in spite of the bizarre circumstance," she recalled.

The actress says she decided to leave after he tried to remove his clothes during the massage. "I didn’t quite know how to process the massage incident. I reasoned that it had been inappropriate and uncalled-for, but not overtly sexual," she wrote. "I was entering into a business where the intimate is often professional and so the lines are blurred. I was in an educational program where I was giving massages to my classmates and colleagues every day. Though the incident with Harvey had made me uncomfortable, I was able to explain and justify it to myself, and shelve it as an awkward moment."

Her worries left her confused after she was repeatedly told by actresses and peers that Weinstein was someone she should know." The final straw came after she was invited to a screening of a film and later taken to a restaurant by one of his assistants.

“Let’s cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal,” he told her, admitting that actresses had to "be willing to do this sort of thing" to be famous.

“With all due respect, I would not be able to sleep at night if I did what you are asking, so I must pass,” she told him. Weinstein ended the dinner and later told her, “I don’t know about your career, but you’ll be fine,”after she inquired about his reaction. "It felt like both a threat and a reassurance at the same time; of what, I couldn’t be sure," he wrote.

She never met with Weinstein privately after the encounter, but he came back around after the success of 12 Years A Slave to apologize for his actions. She was offered film roles from Weinstein Company’s movies and continued to refuse them.

Looking back, the actress shared the need for having allies in the industry and why it's never too late to speak out. "Our business is complicated because intimacy is part and parcel of our profession; as actors we are paid to do very intimate things in public. That’s why someone can have the audacity to invite you to their home or hotel and you show up."

"Though we may have endured powerlessness at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, by speaking up, speaking out and speaking together, we regain that power," she added "And we hopefully ensure that this kind of rampant predatory behavior as an accepted feature of our industry dies here and now."

So far, over 40 actresses and media professionals have shared their stories of sexual assault against Weinstein. Several have taken legal action; one being Rose McGowan who was reportedly raped by the label head in 1997.

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Dionne Warwick Clarifies Comments About Beyonce Not Being An Icon

Dionne Warwick is clarifying her comments about why she doesn't think Beyonce is an icon, yet.  The 78-year-old music legend called out Essence magazine after the Bey-related snippet from her interview with the publication went viral  Thursday (May 23).

“It takes a long time to reach and achieve iconic status,” Warwick clarified. “That’s not to say that Beyoncé isn’t well on her way. She is a gifted performer. That was a reach from Essence.”

What I said is in quotes. What @Essence said is not. It takes a long time to reach and achieve iconic status. That’s not to say that Beyoncé isn’t well on her way. She is a gifted performer. That was a reach from Essence. pic.twitter.com/nWlZcrgdqg

— Dionne Warwick (@_DionneWarwick) May 23, 2019

In the interview, Warwick proclaimed that there are no new music icons, and that Beyonce has yet to reach the coveted status.

“I don’t know if 10 years from now, if anybody can sing the songs of our babies [artists] today, and that’s not as you guys say ‘throwing shade.’ That’s looking at it with reality,” said Warwick.

The “Walk on By” singer explained that recording artists with at least 20 years in music have to survive a few more decades before they can be considered iconic, Beyonce included.

“Watching her grow has been quite refreshing,” Warwick added. “It’s wonderful to see how she’s been able to create what and who she wanted to be and who she is…very proud of that, I really am. Now, sustaining and becoming a big icon that Gladys Knight, or Patti LaBelle, or Johnny Mathis, or Frank Sinatra, or Sammy Davis Jr. is? I doubt that, I really do. And I love her to death and can appreciate her talent. But that iconic status that I just mentioned, those four names? [She has] a long read [ahead].”

Although Warwick is a fan of Queen Bey and other “youngsters” in the industry, she thinks that today’s popular artists have a “long way to go” before their music can be considered classic.”

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YG To Give Percentage Of Album Sales To Nipsey Hussle's Kids

YG is gearing up for the release of his new studio album, 4REAL 4REAL. Ahead of the album's Friday release, YG stopped by Big Boy's Neighborhood on Wednesday (May 23), where he discussed his friendship with Nipsey Hussle. He also revealed his plans to donate a percentage of his album sales to Nip's two children.

YG revealed his thoughtful plan when he was asked about the epitaph that is included on the album's cover art.  "I put that 'In Loving Memory of Nip' on the album because I'm giving his kids a percentage of every song on the album. So by the time they hit 18, from me, they gonna have a bag," YG explained. He also noted that he is considering making donations to the family for the next six albums.

Nipsey and YG have been friends since 2010. "I think we did some music the same day," YG said of their first encounter. "After that, we just kept running across each other on some L.A. shit. From that, it just started to build... He ended up being like a big brother to me," YG says. "The brand shit was the thing we talked about all the time, building a brand that's gonna [outlast] you."

4REAL 4REAL was slated to drop earlier this year but was pushed back in light of Nipsey's untimely passing. It now drops this Friday (May 24).

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Young Thug, J. Cole, And Travis Scott Drop New Song 'The London'

Young Thug, J. Cole, and Travis Scott connected on their new song, "The London."

The song was initially teased during Rolling Loud Miami this month. Attendees reportedly spotted flyers that hinted at the mysterious project. The flyers promised a "summer anthem" titled "The London."

T-Minus, who produced Cole's "MIDDLE CHILD," also produced the latest track. The new track may be from Thugger's next project, GØŁDMØÜFDÖG, which will reportedly be produced by Cole.

In addition to the album, Thug is also preparing for an indoor live event concept, titled "Family Business," which will take place in Dallas, Texas, on Aug. 31.

Listen to "The London" in the video above.

 

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