A representative for Harvey Weinstein is disputing Lupita Nyong’o’s allegations of sexual harassment, insisting the disgraced movie mogul has a “different recollection” of their past encounters.
The Star Wars: The Force Awakens star detailed two instances of inappropriate behavior by Weinstein in a candid op-ed for The New York Times, which was published late on Thursday (19Oct17), claiming she was a student at the Yale School of Drama in 2011, when their paths first crossed.
She was initially invited to his home to watch a movie with his family, when he reportedly led her to his bedroom and offered to give her a massage, and on a second occasion, she was allegedly propositioned at dinner. When she declined, Lupita was told to leave.
However, Weinstein, who is currently seeking professional help for sex addiction, is challenging the actress’ account of their early meetings in a short statement issued to E! News.
A spokesperson writes, “Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry.”
The rep goes on to claim Lupita has continued to stay in touch with Weinstein since breaking into Hollywood: “Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed,” the publicist adds.
Lupita has yet to respond to the comments.
In her article, the 34-year-old also recalled feeling “unsafe” since meeting Weinstein during his first attempt to hit on her by suggesting a massage.
“I panicked a little and thought quickly to offer to give him one instead,” the Oscar winner explained, revealing she objected when Weinstein tried to take off his pants, and used the opportunity to make a quick exit from the property.
After their brief second meeting at dinner, it was another two years before Lupita saw Weinstein again, at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013, when she was promoting her feature film debut in 12 Years a Slave.
Recounting their conversation, she wrote: “He said he couldn’t believe how fast I had gotten to where I was, and that he had treated me so badly in the past. He was ashamed of his actions and he promised to respect me moving forward. I said thank you and left it at that. But I made a quiet promise to myself to never ever work with Harvey Weinstein.”
Lupita is the latest big name to come forward with personal stories about Weinstein’s bad behavior, following in the footsteps of stars like Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Beckinsale, who have spoken out since he was exposed as an alleged sexual predator in Times and New Yorker articles published earlier this month (Oct17).