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Salma Hayek says Harvey Weinstein forced her to do a nude scene, threatened to have her killed

Salma Hayek, in a New York Times article, has said she was pleased to have the opportunity to work with Harvey Weinstein, but she found herself rebuffing sexual advances and requests from Weinstein.

hollywood Updated: Dec 14, 2017 08:54 IST
Chicago, Reuters
Salma Hayek,Harvey Weinstein,Salma Hayek Harvey Weinstein
Salma Hayek is the latest one to speak against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.(REUTERS)

Mexican-born actress Salma Hayek has joined the ranks of Hollywood women accusing movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, calling him a “monster” in an article published by the New York Times.

“For years, he was my monster,” Hayek wrote in the opinion piece in which she included descriptions of sexual harassment, bullying and threats.

Her refusals — of massages, showers and sex — enraged him, she wrote. “I don’t think he hated anything more than the word ‘no,’” wrote Hayek.

Holly Baird, a spokeswoman for Weinstein, reached by email on Wednesday, said she could not immediately provide a comment.

More than 50 women have claimed that Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them over the past three decades. Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

Reuters has been unable to independently confirm any of the accusations against Weinstein.

Hayek spokeswoman Samantha Hill said in an emailed reply to a request for comment on Wednesday, “The piece that Salma penned is the extent of what she has to say at this time.”

Police in New York, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and London have said they are investigating allegations of sexual assault or rape by Weinstein.

Hayek wrote in the article that she was inspired to share her experiences after other women came forward. Her account largely centred around the time she was involved with making the 2002 film, Frida, in which she portrayed Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.

Hayek wrote that she was pleased to have the opportunity to work with Weinstein and Miramax, which he then owned, because it was “synonymous with quality, sophistication and risk taking in films.” But, she wrote, she found herself rebuffing sexual advances and requests from Weinstein.

“No to letting him give me oral sex,” Hayek wrote as one of several examples. “And with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage.”

Hayek wrote that Weinstein was threatening to shut down the production of Frida and that he pressured her into doing a sex scene with another woman in the film. Hayek said that when she went to film the scene, “... for the first and last time in my career, I had a nervous breakdown.”

When Hayek brought Frida, which she was producing, to Miramax to distribute, Weinstein made outrageous demands as payback. Hayek said he insisted on rewrites, more financing and, most heinously to her, a sex scene with full frontal nudity with Ashley Judd. He even threated to kill her, she said.

In order to finish what was a labour of love for Hayek, she agreed. But she said she had a nervous breakdown while shooting the scene. “My body wouldn’t stop crying and convulsing,” wrote Hayek.

“It was not because I would be naked with another woman,” she wrote. “It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein.”

Salma Hayek and Ashley Judd in Frida.

Even still, Weinstein initially refused to give the movie a theatrical release. He eventually relented after pressure from director Julie Taymor and Hayek. It went on to gross $56.3 million worldwide and land six Oscar nominations, winning two.

In a statement through a spokesperson Wednesday, Weinstein denied Hayek’s depiction of their relationship and said the battles on Frida were “creative friction.”

“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,” said the statement.

Salma Hayek in Frida.

Salma, who called Weinstein a “passionate cinephile, a risk taker, a patron of talent in film, a loving father and a monster,” wrote, “I never showed Harvey how terrified I was of him.”

“Until there is equality in our industry, with men and women having the same value in every aspect of it, our community will continue to be a fertile ground for predators,” she wrote.

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First Published: Dec 14, 2017 08:32 IST