Actress Salma Hayek is the latest in a series of women to come out to accuse Hollywood topshot Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.
In a detailed account in the New York Times, Hayek shared her harrowing experience with the producer.
Titled “Harvey Weinstein Was My Monster Too,” Hayek wrote about how she sought him out to help make the Frida Khalo biopic “Frida.”
She had been so excited when he accepted, she wrote, her entire career move, from Mexico to the United States, validated.
But with his acceptance came several demands, all of which she consistently had to say no to: taking a shower with him, letting him watch her take a shower, letting him give her a massage, letting his naked friend give her a massage, letting him give her oral sex, getting naked with another woman.
Upset and raging, he threatened to have her role, her script, her years of research offered to another actress. A movie she had for years fought to be made.
When she got her lawyers involved, he gave her a set of impossible tasks, which she all, miraculously, met.
Then other wars started.
He was always dissatisfied with anything that went on on set. One day, he showed up and ejected everyone but her from the room.
He told her the only thing she had going for her was her sex appeal, which the movie was lacking.
No one wanted to see her in that role, he said, and he was going to shut the movie down. Except. On one condition: she did a sex scene with another woman, with full-frontal nudity.
She agreed. She had to.
The day the scene was to be shot, she arrived on scene and had a nervous breakdown. She was in tears and she kept vomiting. She could not stop.
She got through the scene, taking tranquilizers which stopped the tears but made the vomiting worse.
But the war was still not over.
When the movie was done, Weinstein saw the final cut and proclaimed it wasn’t good enough for theatrical release. It would go straight to video, he said.
Julie Taymor, the director, had to fight him. She got him to agree to showing it in one movie theater in New York if it was tested on an audience and scored at least an 80, a score only 10% of movies ever do on a test screening. “Frida” scored 85.
Of course, that too made him upset.
Still, after everything, “Frida” gave Weinstein box office success, and an additional 6 Oscar nominations to his belt, including Best Actress, and won 2.
Read Salma Hayek’s full story on The New York Times.