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Lupita Nyong’o shares Sexual Harassment Experience with Harvey Weinstein

BellaNaija.com

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Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong’o is the latest in a series of women who have come forward to say Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein had earlier in their careers, sexually harassed them.

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Lupita wrote that she met Weinstein in 2011, at an awards ceremony in Berlin, while she was still a student at the Yale School of Drama.

He had been introduced to her as the “the most powerful producer in Hollywood,” she wrote.

Wary about both strangers and the “intentions of men,” Lupita had sought others’ opinion of Weinstein, looking to vet him.

“Keep Harvey in your corner.” a female producer had said. “He is a good man to know in the business, but just be careful around him. He can be a bully.”

They had exchanged contacts, and although she continued to refer to him as Mr. Weinstein, he insisted she call him by his first name.

Not long after, he invited her to attend a screening of a film with his family at home in Westport, not far away from New Haven where she was staying at the time.

They had had lunch at a restaurant first, and although she ordered juice, Weinstein insisted she had vodka and diet soda, telling the waiter, “Get her what I tell you to get her. I’m the one paying the bill.”

When the drink arrived, along with water, she had only the water, and Weinstein had called her stubborn.

Watching the movie in his home, maybe 15 minutes in, Weinstein said he wanted to show her something.

She wanted to see the movie, she said, but Weinstein insisted, saying they would return shortly.

He led her into a bedroom, his bedroom, and said he wanted to massage her.

“I thought he was joking at first,” Lupita wrote. But he wasn’t.

Panicking, she offered to give him one instead, hoping it could put her in control of the situation.

While massaging his back, Weinstein said he wanted to take his pants off. She said no, and because he insisted, she walked away, standing by the door frame and telling him: “If we’re not going to watch the film, I really should head back to school.” He called her stubborn again.

He had his driver return her home, gifting her a boxed collection of “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” an HBO show that he had produced.

The next time he invited her over, it was to a staged reading of his new Broadway show, “Finding Neverland,” which, feeling unsafe, she attended with 2 male friends.

Weinstein was on his best behavior, and she believed they had been able to get past their awkward beginnings, and could now sustain a professional relationship.

That was why she could accept and attend alone a screening of “W.E.” he invited her to. After the screening, they would have drinks.

As planned, after the screening, they sat to eat at Tribeca Grill, and hadn’t even began eating, when Weinstein said: “Let’s cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal.”

She refused, saying she’d rather eat at the restaurant.

He asked her not to be naive, that if she wanted to be an actress she had to be willing to do this sort of thing.

“You have no idea what you are passing up,” he said.

“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 said.

Afraid of her career, “I just want to know that we are good,” she told him.

“I don’t know about your career, but you’ll be fine,” he said.

You can read the entire op-ed HERE.

Photo Credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

33 Comments

  1. Ankara

    October 20, 2017 at 5:56 am

    I just read the whole script. Let the nollywood actresses especially the younger ones read this and get their heads straight. everywhere sexual harassment. at school at companies in politics in film at ology in music in the quarter or villages etc where will we run to. Not only ladies are been harassed oh. Men are also been harassed by big madam or by men too.

  2. californiabawlar

    October 20, 2017 at 7:01 am

    wow!!! The entire thing is so vivid!

    Long stories that touch alert:

    My sexual harassment situation from my supervisor in undergrad reads similar to this man’s MO. He was a rich and powerful professor. Always in Abuja meeting with the president and political leaders, and was definitely gearing up to be a minister at the time. He made advances in his office and graduated to calling to invite me to come hang out at the country club… and then when I refused, he victimized the heck out of me in the most subtle way. He refused to sign my undergrad thesis, and after I managed to wriggle my way out of the situation with some mago mago, even after graduation he refused to sign my clearance for NYSC. The head of department was so scared of him and refused to let me go. I had kneel and beg to convince him that I was in this professor’s good books. That was definitely one of the lowest points of my existence cos I have always carried myself a certain way.
    I can really relate with how Weinstein harassed Gwyneth Paltrow despite her being Hollywood royalty, cos you know whats weird? I never shared what was going on with my mom. I finally told her some parts of it this summer and she was absolutely shocked I didn’t report the harassment cos she would have definitely taken care of the situation. But mehn! there is something about an abusive situation that doesn’t make you think straight. Despite my strong personality, I genuinely thought I was helpless and only God could deliver me. (Which He did). I think there was the aspect of shame. I was ashamed to share that I was being seen as a sexual object with my family. I just didn’t even know how to start the conversation. I also attribute some of it to being young (21)… even though at that time i could have sworn I was a boss! lol. Oh! and then there’s the fact that the prof openly belonged to cults… so many layers sha.
    Yesterday, some people were using the #Metoo hashtag on my Facebook, and I wanted to used it and then tag his son on my status just to be petty! I know it’s not rational but that was the instant urge I got… lol.

    Apart from my best friend and a few of my classmates that I had to tell cos they helped me with getting out of the situation, I pretty much suppressed the memory. This Weinstein debacle up here just brings back a flood of memories… ugh!
    Good night jere.

    • Pinkfunky

      October 20, 2017 at 7:48 am

      Shouldn’t he be named and shamed, this may help other victims out there.

    • Mrs chidukane

      October 20, 2017 at 8:32 am

      Sending e-hugs your way! @californiabawlar. Shame to bad people.
      Lupita writes so well. Great article.

    • Damilola

      October 21, 2017 at 12:56 am

      Californiabawlar, it’s still vivid and you choose to hide and protect the perpetrator? And it will be irrational to tag his son? Really. I love how women form fake feminism, toughness but when it comes to the real thing, they back off. To hell with shame and fear, women are not ready for true feminism and real change.

    • californiabawlar

      October 21, 2017 at 3:08 am

      Damilola o! Ku ishe omo oko… I find it funny that you think I choose to protect him.
      While I didn’t say it in my comments, I definitely have concrete plans in place to get my pound of flesh LEGALLY.
      But even if I didn’t… is it not my choice? Do you realize that what you’re doing is some form of victim blaming? Yes! You’re attempting to blame and shame me for not revealing his name anonymously. Of what use is calling him out on here do for me? Premature justice from the court of public opinion?
      You spent 1, 2, 3, 4 lines castigating me for not saying his name…. not in one breathe did you manage to blame the accuser. Do you really think you can bully victims into naming perpetrators? Really? Insensitive mfers like you are part of the problem. Do better. 🙂

    • Engoz

      October 21, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      @Californiabawler
      Don’t heed to these shady people with kindergarten intelligence pretending to care. It’s your word AGAINST the abuser. Any lawyer will dismiss you in court. And society is more likely to support the abuser’s rebuttal. Just take a look at the way they are creeping in with dirty attitudes.

      Listen, What any victim needs is EVIDENCE before naming and shaming. Unfortunately most sexual harassment happen with limited chances to get evidence. So the victim may have to act like the advances and get the abuser on audio. One of the victims of the Weinstein’s saga reported to the police but she had to be sent back to get some evidence on audio.

      My advice to anyone going through this is to get some form of evidence, then name and shame publicly. Never ever do the latter before you have the receipts. It will strengthen your case

    • Damilola

      October 21, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      @californiabawlar
      You claim to be smart, use your brain then. How is suggesting to name the professor victim shaming or bullying? Is there a gun to your head under duress? How is suggesting to name the professor to help others bullying? Have several seats. . We already know what he did is wrong. I’m all about ACTION and problem solving. Not getting 100likes or say eeya or pele.
      We all know naming the professor will embolden other victims, prevent many from being his victim and most importantly will help expose him and even help with your case. Many will come out to speak against him. Number is power in this type of situation especially for those in power who feel untouchable.
      There’s a reason sex offenders are listed publicly here to help others identify them and not be their victjm.

    • Damilola

      October 21, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      @californiabawlar
      And If you choose not to name him for your personal reason, that’s your prerogative. It’s all cool, life goes on.
      Just say I choose not to instead of distorting a suggestion into pettiness and making those who try to help the bad guys.

    • Engoz

      October 21, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      @ Californiabawler
      Again, do not fall for the fraudulent captain America commentary going on here. Naming and calling without evidence exposes you to be sued for libel or slander depending on whatever medium you used. It is your duty to protect yourself first. You did the RIGHT thing not tagging the son. It would be petty. He is not the abuser.

  3. VERA

    October 20, 2017 at 7:17 am

    This is such a great read
    it exposes the options we women often wrestle with in such situations, the choices we often have to make, the things we tell ourselves for validation, our fears and worries
    but most importantly it highlights the toxic environment powerful men and women sometimes put young women and men who dare to dream
    this Weinstein dude is sooo evil

  4. chi

    October 20, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Well, that shows Weinstein is not God after all, today, lupita is not only fine buh her career is so fine. hold on to God people, for he has the final say.

  5. Mama

    October 20, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Na wa oh…this man’s libido is obviously on steroids. May all the Harvey Weinsteins’ in Nigeria be exposed.

    • Icrossmyheart

      October 20, 2017 at 9:18 am

      Hahahahahahahaha, in Nigeria they will receive an oscar and be invited to see the President and possibly a statue will be erected to honor them.

      Nigeria and shame are synomous. They wear shame so well, it wont humiliate.

      But what will humiliate them is to strip them from their wealth and then call them poor.

      Some Nigerian men, unfortunately, respect money more than they respect women.

  6. Ephi

    October 20, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Considering the number of actresses that have disclosed they were harassed by Weinstein, I just wonder who has this animal NOT harassed?! I hope he gets sent to jail to serve as a lesson for the other predators lurking on the corridors of power. Animalistic animals.

    Just look at the veiled threat:
    “I don’t know about your career, but you’ll be fine,” he said.

  7. Crazy world

    October 20, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Very soon scorned women will come for Drake. I now understand why he makes models sign all sorts of paper before they do the do. Weinstein is a sick man I know but just like every campaign, this will be abused soon and it will lose its intent(?).

    I have read some #metoo stories that I think women should just speak out against but no, it’s a women versus men thing. There’s this one where a married man asked a girl out and promised her a luxury life. All you need do is say NO! She claimed it’s sexual harrasment.

    One talked about a guy that she knows very well o telling her her boobs look bigger and that’s sexual harrasment too. Another one I read talked about how someone talked about how her dress is so fitting it makes him think things and that too is harrasment. Out of everyone talking, have we not seen those we specifically asked that they be taken to Weinstein knowing fully that kind of man he is because I’m sure people will know but just not talk.

    • Engoz

      October 20, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      Did you factor in age of the lady or relationship between the people before you begin ridiculing their experiences? Not only that, was it a professional or religious environment? Now place your married man and big boob comments in any of these scenarios? How does it sound? Irrespective of these scenarios, we surely can tell a decent proposal from harassment. What moral system will you argue that a married man should ask a lady out? Is it a decent proposal according to modern society’s moral standards? Also, what relationship do you have with a girl or woman to randomly comment on her boobs? Do normal people go about commenting on women’s boobs? Do parents now teach boys to comment on women’s boobs or what? All the guys who wanted a relationship with me growing up never mentioned boobs. It was only a mad man on the street that ever mentioned boobs to me. So this tells me there must be a psychiatric problem in the man’s head in order to blur the lines between a decent proposal and harassment.

      Besides no Nigerian girl need to claw at straws or make up stories to talk about ‘sexual harassment’. Sexual harassment is a Nigerian culture!!! It’s like a rite of passage for Nigerian girls. Most of the harassment happen when you are actually a teenager. Some random guy followed me for like 30 mins on the street when I was going to buy something. I had to alert a police officer who was working by before he left.

  8. john

    October 20, 2017 at 9:51 am

    @ californiabawlar I read your whole epistle and was expecting to read the actual name of the professor and u didn’t , so what are u now telling us the story for..so a few people can console you with awww, poor you etc….It is not just u..it is a common trait with Nigerians…..it is better u name and shame him bcos if u dont then I see no use of ur comment in the first place ..and nothing change…it is time this educated terrorists called lecturers are dealt with..name him or keep it to yourself..abeg

    • Californiabawlar

      October 20, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Hey Mr. Were Alaso… please keep me out of your comments, cos two can play that game.

      Now that said,

      1. People act like naming an abuser makes the world believe your story. Please tell me ONE situation that folks actually sided with the victim.
      2. Like a podcast I was listening to mentioned, people don’t even take rape seriously, much less sexual harassment.
      3. Lastly and most importantly, you as a stupid man do not get to tell me what to do with my story. If I so choose I can confront him in person or shame him on my social media. I don’t do things anonymously… not everyone is a spineless thrashy coward like you. If you think I’m vocal on BN wait till you see my Facebook.

      No one on here has ever pressured you to share your story about your abusive father and the abandonment issues from your mother… yet you leave context clues every single day. Especially your mum… make sure you name her… you know since you say she’s the devil and all.
      All this to say save your “aww sorry” for your sad life… you need it. ?

    • Jade Edo babe

      October 20, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      @ John
      For once you make sense. You have a valid point.
      @californabawlar
      Abeg, u dey vex for no reason. Misplaced anger. John usually leaves stupid comments but he’s right here. It’s sad, that he’s giving the right solution yet you are upset at him.
      So what’s the point of these hashtags, sharing if we still believe nothing will be done. Proper action hasn’t happened because our approach and belief is problematic. You didn’t tell your mom, we don’t tell people that will take proper action. Even if no one believes you, you know the truth. Stand for your truth.
      Let’s be real, authentic with ourselves. Until we say the names, put faces on it before real change will happen. Expose them, why do we still hide and protect these evil people.

  9. The original

    October 20, 2017 at 9:53 am

    He should have tried it with Lucy Liu, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Hi. They would have beat the insanity from him.

    • Money Moves

      October 20, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      Its because of people like you that they put that disclaimer: don’t try this at home.

      You really think Lucy Liu, Zheng Hi, Michelle Yeoh or even Rhonda Rousey can do all those stunts in real life? And even if they can, beating him up is ok because they are women. Chimamanda must be very proud of you!

  10. teejay

    October 20, 2017 at 10:24 am

    I remember getting into school at 16, very ill so my mum came with me to help fix my room. She left for a home emergency before she could help me finish up. On her departure,she told my caretaker to help me find an electrician. I got back from lectures and his son came to knock on my door that the dad asked him to help me fix my socket and stuffs. He asked me to get d black tape which I was searching for when he grabbed me .I screamed but no one came, until I hit his d**k nd ran out to get airtym to call my mum. The women in d estate saw me running out nd asked wat had happened, I foolishly told dem coz I thought der wer gonna handle d situation since dey were mothers , but guess wat? Dey accused me of seducing him with my body. At 16,I couldn’t believe wat I had heard from mothers.

  11. teejay

    October 20, 2017 at 10:25 am

    9 years later,we all still blame d victims.

  12. LemmeRant

    October 20, 2017 at 10:45 am

    @Crazy World.
    The moment I saw that hashtag, I knew people were gonna take it sideways. Much like how the women empowerment, feminism, black lives matter etc struggles have gone.

    This also brings up a question I’ve always had on this sexual harassment matter cos for me I think its all subjective.

    Lemme illustrate.
    A typical example at the workplace.

    Case 1
    ———————————-
    Mr. A sees Miss B. Miss B has a crush on Mr A. Mr. A to Miss B: “Woaw you hot sexy mama. One of these days I’m gonna take you out.” Mrs. B blushes and is obviously excited. Mr. A is seen as a confident fellow who obviously has game.

    Case 2
    ———————————-
    Mr C sees Miss B. Mr. C fancies Miss B. Miss B doesn’t think much of Mr. C. Probably doesn’t even know he exists. Mr. C after summoning all the courage finally approaches Miss B: “You look really good in that pink top, you know, I’ve always had a thing for you, mind if I take you out?”. Miss B is grossed out and storms to HR office.

    Whats so different about the 2 scenarios? Simple the girl didn’t just like the second guy.
    Now does this also make it sexual harassment?

    ————————-

    But on a positive note, a lot of women are getting into the whole shoot your shot vibe. Would be interesting if a guy files for sexual harassment simply coz a girl “shot her shot”

    • dammy

      October 20, 2017 at 10:55 am

      bro man… THIS RIGHT HERE IS DA TRUTH!

    • Randommer

      October 20, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      That’s now really how it happens though. In case 2, if the lady immediately goes to HR, nothing will happen other than HR will coach her on how to tell the guy no. The problem comes if the guy won’t take no for an answer and creates a hostile work place for her and others. Furthermore in the first case, it’s pretty established that sexual harassment is about impact and consistent impact. The point is are you making the recipient feel harassed. It’s a strawman to say women run to HR at first offense unless it’s really egregious even then they usually don’t. It’s a fact that these kinds of things are underreported

    • YLT

      October 20, 2017 at 11:25 pm

      Damn! This comment right here ! #epic! One of the reasons I refuse to join this movement and No I will never judge a victim ! I will rather hear both sides of the story & hope both sides tell it all genuinely !

  13. BIZZLE

    October 20, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Female’s who had agreed to Harvey’s advances for career opportunities would be covering their faces now but then some of them didn’t have an option at the time, moving forward please speak up or excuse your self of the situations.

  14. Momo

    October 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I was also harrased at secondary school and uni but I handled it maturely and told the prof at uni that I was engaged so he left me alone ..I guess he was not like Weinstein….side bar ..will anyone ever admit to actually sleeping with Weinstein to save their career..maybe they are afraid of the stigma that may follow

  15. semesee

    October 20, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Awon OLRIBURUKU, they are sexually harassing male as well as female! Everybody speak out!!!

  16. Xplorenollywood.com

    October 20, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Wow… this is deep though

  17. Bolaji

    October 20, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    still not talking about the Weinsteins on our doorstep in Nollywood. Okay. Weh done!

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