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Lupita Nyong'o Comes Forward With Her Own Harvey Weinstein Allegations

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

In a new Times op-ed, the Oscar winner details her alleged harassment from Weinstein.

In an op-ed for The New York Times published today, Oscar-winning Lupita Nyong'o shared her own account of experiencing sexual harassment with Harvey Weinstein.

The pair first met at an awards show in Berlin, while Nyong'o was still studying drama at Yale. Weinstein invited the actress to his Connecticut house to watch a film with his family. First, they were to have lunch at a nearby restaurant. Nyong'o ordered juice to drink, but Weinstein insisted on ordering her vodka and diet soda and continued to pressure her to drink the cocktail, though she refused.

Afterward, they went to Weinstein's home and began to watch the movie in the family screening room, until he demanded they relocate to his room.

"Harvey led me into a bedroom--his bedroom--and announced that he wanted to give me 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. Wanting to maintain control, Nyong'o offered to massage him instead. "Before long he said he wanted to take off his pants. I told him not to do that and informed him that it would make me extremely uncomfortable. He got up anyway to do so and I headed for the door, saying that I was not at all comfortable with that. 'If we're not going to watch the film, I really should head back to school,' I said."

Nyong'o managed to make it out of Weinstein's home safely, with him insisting on pointing out her "stubbornness."

The two met again a few times in public, and Nyong'o agreed to attend a group dinner at the TriBeCa Grill. When she showed up, however, she discovered the meal would just be the two of them. Before appetizers had even arrived, Harvey said: "'Let's cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal.' I was stunned. I told him I preferred to eat in the restaurant. He told me not to be so naive. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing."

Lupita politely declined: "'With all due respect, I would not be able to sleep at night if I did what you are asking, so I must pass,' I replied. His whole demeanor changed at that point. 'Then I guess we are two ships passing in the night.'"

Weinstein then proceeded to tell Nyong'o, before any food had come, that "We are done here. You can leave," later suggesting her career will be unsuccessful.

Years went by, Nyong'o won an Oscar for Twelve Years A Slave, and Weinstein reportedly apologized for his behavior, hoping to have her appear in one of his upcoming films (she didn't).

"Though we may have endured powerlessness at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, by speaking up, speaking out and speaking together, we regain that power," she concludes. "And we hopefully ensure that this kind of rampant predatory behavior as an accepted feature of our industry dies here and now. Now that we are speaking, let us never shut up about this kind of thing. 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."

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