The Harvey Weinstein scandal unfurled like a domino effect. One after the other, blocks fell and a chain reaction began. The first push helped many women open up about their harrowing stories about the producer.
More than 60 women have now spoken up about the producer, from Angelina Jolie and Gweneth Paltrow to Aishwarya Rai and Lena Headey to his ex-employee who said that he forced himself on her orally, it brought out the ugliest side of the entertainment industry.
Now, it is the renowned actor, Salma Hayek who has opened up about her disturbing encounter with Weinstein. In an exclusive for The New York Times, she wrote,
“For years, he was my monster.”
For all those people thinking “Why now? Why didn’t she speak about it earlier?”, she wrote that she had convinced herself into believing that she had no responsibility to speak out and that enough people had already spoken about the monster. She didn’t think her voice was important.
Hayek says, “I had brainwashed myself into thinking that it was over and that I had survived.”
She said, in reality, she was being a coward and saving herself from being asked to explain herself to loved ones. When she had earlier said she had been bullied by Weinstein she had left out a couple of details. Hayek said,
Talking about her earlier years in Hollywood she said it was Harvey who had taken a chance on her, “a nobody.” At the time she was thrilled thinking this was her chance to become a leading lady, but it turned into a horrific tale.
He would show up at her door in hotels at odd hours, would want to give her a massage, take a shower with her, give her oral sex, want her to get naked with another woman. But the only thing she said was “NO”.
She said that his persuasion tactics changed into anger and that there was probably no word he hated more than ‘no’. Raging one day, he said,
“I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”
Talking about the film Frida, she said that he would only let her finish shooting the film if she agrees to do a sex scene with another woman. She wrote,
She said that her mind understood that she had to do it, but her body “wouldn’t stop crying and convulsing.” She said she started throwing up and had to be given a tranquilizer which calmed her down. She said, “This was not sexy, but it was the only way I could get through the scene.”
After that, she kept her distance from Weinstein but when she met him socially, she would act cordial and smile. She said,
“I never showed Harvey how terrified I was of him. When I saw him socially, I’d smile and try to remember the good things about him, telling myself that I went to war and I won.”
A spokesperson for Havey Weinstein said that he does not recall pressurising Hayek into doing a sexual act. Weinstein has denied all the allegations.
In the end, she said that she hopes her voice joining in into the chorus of women speaking can make people understand why it’s so difficult for women to open up. She said, “Men sexually harassed because they could. Women are talking today because, in this new era, we finally can.”