Lupita Nyong’o opened up Thursday about a litany of “inappropriate” interactions with Harvey Weinstein over the last six years.
The 34-year-old actress detailed several meetings with the now-disgraced producer, beginning with a 2011 awards ceremony in Berlin when she was a student at the Yale School of Drama.
“A woman who was a producer herself cautiously advised me to ‘keep Harvey in your corner,’” Nyong’o wrote in a personal essay for the New York Times.
“She said: ‘He is a good man to know in the business, but just be careful around him. He can be a bully.’ And so I exchanged contacts with him in the hopes that I would be of consideration for one of his projects. I wanted to keep things professional, so I made a point of referring to him as ‘Mr. Weinstein.’ But he insisted that I call him by his first name. In this first encounter, I found him to be very direct and authoritative, but also charming. He didn’t quite put me at ease, but he didn’t alarm me, either.”
Shortly after their introduction, once back stateside, Nyong’o said Weinstein invited her to lunch, where he tried to bully her into drinking a vodka and diet soda, before a private screening at his home in Westport, Conn.
Fifteen minutes into the screening, Nyong’o wrote, Weinstein brought her up to his bedroom and told her he was going to give her a massage.
“I thought he was joking at first. He was not. For the first time since I met him, I felt unsafe,” she wrote for the Times.
“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.”
Unsatisfied with a shirtless back massage, Weinstein allegedly began to take his pants off, at which point Nyong’o left.
On another occasion, the producer invited her back to a private room, Nyong’o said.
“He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing,” she wrote. “He said he had dated Famous Actress X and Y and look where that had gotten them.”
And after her 2014 best supporting actress Oscar win for “12 Years a Slave,” Weinstein allegedly offered Nyong’o a role in one of his upcoming movies — which she turned down, despite his refusal to accept her answer.
“I knew I would not do it simply because it was the Weinstein Company, but I did not feel comfortable telling this to anybody,” she wrote.
Nyong’o joins more than 40 other women who have now accused Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault, including Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan and Cara Delevingne.
Since then, he has been fired from the Weinstein Company and expelled from the Motion Picture Academy.
The NYPD, LAPD and Scotland Yard have all opened investigations against him as more accusations are made public daily.
In a blanket statement, Weinstein denied allegations of non-consensual sex.
Nyong’o ended her essay with a call for women to come forward — and keep sharing their stories.
“Now that we are speaking, let us never shut up about this kind of thing,” she wrote.
“I speak up to make certain that this is not the kind of misconduct that deserves a second chance. I speak up to contribute to the end of the conspiracy of silence.”