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Los Angeles police open Harvey Weinstein sexual assault investigation
November 22 2017, 06:02 | Alexander Lowe
Tarana Burke wearing a'me too T-shirt addresses the March to End Rape Culture in Philadelphia in 2014
Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o has added her voice to sexual harassment and abuse allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, saying she had an encounter with him in 2011 at his home in CT.
Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, George Clooney and Emma Thompson have all condemned his behaviour, while actresses like Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Cara Delevingne have also come forth with their own disturbing stories of sexual harassment by Weinstein.
A representative for Weinstein has stated, that allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.
The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein after an Italian model-actress alleged that he raped her at her hotel in 2013. She was told by a female producer at the time to "keep Harvey in your corner", but be careful around him. Weinstein invited Nyong'o to his house in Westport, Connecticut to watch a film in his private screening room with his family and to talk to her about a potential role.
The two had lunch at a local restaurant beforehand, where Weinstein insisted on ordering Nyong'o a vodka and soda cocktail after she asked for a juice.
"You are going to drink that", he responded, Nyong'o recounted, but she did not budge. He pulled her from the viewing, she said, brought Nyong'o to his bedroom, and asked if he could give her a massage.
"I don't think there's "a" Weinstein".
She explains that she first met Weinstein in 2011 at an awards ceremony in Berlin, after being warned by another producer in attendance to "be careful around him". 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", Nyong'o said. He said she decribed to the LAPD "extremely serious sexual assault and rape" but did not go into the "graphic" details.
The actress says she turned down another advance by Weinstein not long after the massage incident and he threatened her career. They ordered drinks and starters, but before the appetizers arrived he suggested they take the rest of their meal to his room. "But I made a quiet promise to myself to never ever work with Harvey Weinstein".
Nyong'o claims she fled the producer's home when he tried to remove his trousers. She said he approached her at an after-party. "So my survival plan was to avoid Harvey and men like him at all costs, and I did not know that I had allies in this". I did not know that things could change.
"But now that this is being discussed openly, I have not been able to avoid the memories resurfacing", she continued.
Priyanka, known in the USA for "Quantico", added: "So what if I'm in heels?".
Since then, she said, she hasn't encountered treatment like that from anyone else. "I was entering into a business where the intimate is often professional and so the lines are blurred". If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing. "You have no idea what you are passing up", he said.
Although he said he once confronted Weinstein over an allegation, he added: "I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard".
Nyong'o later vowed to herself to never work with Weinstein.