After Salma Hayek wrote a bombshell op-ed in The New York Times, detailing her own experience of sexual harassment with Harvey Weinstein on the set of the Oscar-winning film Frida, the disgraced producer has responded with his own version of events.
In a statement released to People, Weinstein’s rep ultimately refutes Hayek’s misconduct allegations. And while the letter opens with praise for the actress, it quickly cuts deep.
“Mr. Weinstein regards Salma Hayek as a first-class actress and cast her in several of his movies, among them Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Dogma, and Studio 54. He was very proud of her Best Actress Academy Award nomination for Frida and continues to support her work,” the statement began.
The note continued: “While Jennifer Lopez was interested in playing Frida and at the time was a bigger star, Mr. Weinstein overruled other investors to back Salma as the lead. Miramax put up half of the money and all of the P&A; the budget was over 12 million. As in most collaborative projects, there was creative friction on Frida, but it served to drive the project to perfection. The movie opened in multiple theaters and was supported by a huge advertising campaign and an enormous Academy Awards budget.”
Later, Weinstein claims he was not present during the filming of the sex scene between Hayek and her female co-star, nor did he pressure her into it, stating that the sequence of sexual exploration was choreographed by the 51-year-old and producer Geoffrey Rush. “Mr. Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female costar and he was not there for the filming,” the statement read.
“However, that was part of the story, as Frida Kahlo was bisexual and the more significant sex scene in the movie was choreographed by Ms. Hayek with Geoffrey Rush. The original uni-brow used was an issue because it diverted attention from the performances. All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired.”
Read Weinstein’s full statement over at People.