Lupita Nyong'o Explains Why She Spoke Out Against Harvey Weinstein
For Lupita Nyong'o, speaking out against Harvey Weinstein was not a choice she made lightly.
The actress came forward with an allegation of sexual harassment against the disgraced movie mogul in a New York Times op-ed back in October, but her account was the result of a lot of thought, she revealed Thursday.
The Oscar winner opened up about why she decided to share her alleged experiences with Weinstein, which dated back to her days as a student at the Yale School of Drama.
“I felt uncomfortable in my silence, and I wanted to liberate myself from it and contribute to the discussion,” she said in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “That was just what I felt I needed to do, quite viscerally. I couldn’t sleep. I needed to get it out.”
In order to finally make the choice to come forward, Nyong'o consulted her family—namely, her mother.
"I had to talk to [my mother] about it because it was something that we hadn’t talked about," said Nyong'o. "She was really moved and very supportive.”
Nyong’o was one of many women who came forward with stories of sexual harassment and misconduct against Weinstein. In Nyong'o's original op-ed about her alleged experiences, she said Weinstein asked her to give him a massage after a lunch meeting.
“Harvey led me into a bedroom—his bedroom—and announced that he wanted to give me a massage,” she wrote. “I thought he was joking at first. He was not. For the first time since I met him, I felt unsafe. I panicked a little and thought quickly to offer to give him one instead: It would allow me to be in control physically, to know exactly where his hands were at all times.”
A rep for the producer released a statement following the op-ed's publication. “Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry,” it read. “Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show ‘Eclipsed’.”
Weinstein's spokesperson has said that he denies any allegations of non-consensual sex.