Lupita Nyong’o took a brave step last fall when she penned an explosive essay in the New York Times, detailing how she underwent abuse at the hands of Harvey Weinstein. But before the paper published the account, she admitted she needed to have a conversation with her mother about the incident first
“I had to talk to her about it because it was something that we hadn’t talked about,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “She was really moved and very supportive.”
In the essay, the Oscar Award-winning actress revealed that Weinstein invited her to his house for a screening, and proposed to give her a massage. After that, she swiftly left his home citing she felt “unsafe.” At another event in New York City, Nyong’o remembers the Hollywood producer asking her to have sex with him, in exchange for career advancement.
“I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal,” Weinstein said, according to Nyong’o. “Let’s cut to the chase.” After the lewd comment, she declined by saying: “With all due respect, I would not be able to sleep at night if I did what you are asking.”
After Weinstein was thrown into a media frenzy by fellow A-list Hollywood actresses like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, she felt compelled to share her story. “I felt uncomfortable in my silence, and I wanted to liberate myself from it and contribute to the discussion,” she said. “That was just what I felt I needed to do, quite viscerally. I couldn’t sleep. I needed to get it out.”
“My father raised us to stand up for what we believe in and to fight for what is right,” she continued. “We were always told, ‘You need to make a difference in the world.’ I live with that insistence all the time.”
Amid the allegations, Weinstein released a statement denying Nyong’o’s account of the events. “Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry,” he said. “Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed.”
Still, the 34-year-old actress stands firm in wanting to do more for women’s rights and shedding light on Hollywood’s recent “Time’s Up” campaign