A spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein said the producer “has a different recollection of the events” that came to light in a New York Times op-ed piece penned by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o. The comments came a day after the essay appeared in which she detailed a series of alleged Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment encounters that included several explicit passes Weinstein tried to foist on her early in her career.
“Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry,” the statement reads. “Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show ‘Eclipsed’.”
In the op-ed, Nyong’o detailed initially meeting Weinstein in 2011 and he invited her to his Connecticut home, ostensibly to watch a movie with his family. But first, they stopped at a local restaurant for lunch, where Weinstein tried to get her to drink alcohol.
When they got to his home, they met his domestic staff and young children. They then went to his private screening room. But 15 minutes into the film, Weinstein lured her to another part of the house. When they arrived at his bedroom, he asked for a massage. Before long, she wrote, 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.” The incident then ended and she left the home.
At a later time she said she attended a Weinstein screening, and joined him at a restaurant, expecting others to be there. Instead, he was alone. He quickly got to the point: “Let’s cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal.”
Nyong’o claims she was stunned. “I told him I preferred to eat in the restaurant. 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. He said he had dated Famous Actress X and Y and look where that had gotten them.”
Nyong’o declined his offers and they departed the restaurant without eating. As she was getting into a cab, she turned to Weinstein. “I just want to know that we are good.”
He responded: “I don’t know about your career, but you’ll be fine.”
Nyong’o did not see him until the premiere of 12 Years A Slave. He apologized for past behaviors. “I said thank you and left it at that. But I made a quiet promise to myself to never ever work with Harvey Weinstein.”
Weinstein is being investigated by the LAPD, NYPD and London police over sexual assault claims, as more women have been coming forward with their stories about the Oscar-winning producer now two weeks after exposés in the New York Times and New Yorker. He since has been expelled from the Film Academy and the Producers Guild.
Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company, the company he co-founded, on October 8. On Monday, TWC received a capital infusion from Colony Capital, which is also now negotiating to buy part or all of the company and its assets.