Penelope Cruz was “really angry” at best pal Salma Hayek for failing to confide in her about the alleged harassment she suffered at the hands of Harvey Weinstein.
Salma detailed her interactions with the disgraced movie mogul while filming 2002’s Frida in an op-ed for The New York Times in December (17) – two months after the publication’s initial expose on Weinstein, who was accused of decades of sexual misconduct from a group of actresses, including Ashley Judd.
The Mexican beauty subsequently revealed she had turned down the opportunity to be among the first few women to speak out about Weinstein and felt “ashamed” by her decision, even though she simply wasn’t ready to go public.
Now, in a new interview with her Frida co-star Ashley for Town & Country magazine, Salma explains it was Judd who initially approached her about sharing their stories together in the Times back in October (17), but she “chickened out” because she had “never told anyone”.
“Just thinking about it weakened me emotionally,” she said. “And if it affected me in such a way just to think about it, why would I say it out loud?”
When Salma eventually plucked up the courage to open up about her treatment by Weinstein, Penelope Cruz was one of the first to reach out – and she wasn’t happy, especially as he had produced her movies Nine and Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
“Penelope was really angry at me, because I didn’t tell her what was going on while it was happening,” Salma recalled. “But, you know, I didn’t realize Harvey was doing it to other people, too, so I thought, ‘Why dump your stuff on someone and take away from their professional relationship with him?’ At that time Harvey was doing the best movies.”
The actress also admits it was tough addressing the sensitive topic with her husband, fashion mogul Francois-Henri Pinault: “The hard part was to tell my husband, because I had said, ‘Oh, Harvey was a bully,’ but I had never told him all of it,” she said.
In Salma’s New York Times piece, she claimed Weinstein had sexually harassed and berated her as she attempted to get her Frida passion project made – accusations he has firmly denied – and Hayek credits Judd with helping her to finally speak her truth.
“The only reason I was able to finally do it (go public) was your loving hand,” she told Judd. “If it weren’t for you, this story wouldn’t have come out.”