Salma Hayek has joined dozens of women accusing former Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.
The actress has even alleged Weinstein threatened to kill her, writing for the New York Times that Weinstein was her ‘monster’.
Hayek said Harvey Weinstein subjected her to inappropriate comments and behaviour for a number of years, however she’s been reluctant to speak out because she had ‘brainwashed’ herself into thinking the trauma she endured ‘was over’.
But in the wake of all the other brave women speaking out against the disgraced film producer, Hayek decided to ‘confront cowardice’ and print her story.
The production during which Weinstein plagued her most severely was that of Frida, the movie about Mexican surrealist painter Frida Kahlo.
Hayek wrote that the reputation of Weinstein preceded him, but she was excited to work with him in her naïveté, and the actress was thrilled he said yes.
Little did I know it would be my turn to say no.
No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with.
No to me taking a shower with him.
No to letting him watch me take a shower.
No to letting him give me a massage.
No to letting a naked friend of his give me a message.
No to letting him give me oral sex.
No to my getting naked with another woman.
No, no, no, no, no…
And with every refusal came Weinstein’s Machiavellian rage.
Hayek said the producer didn’t like the word ‘no’, saying his requests became more and more ‘absurd’, including asking her to go to the Venice Film Festival and making her hang out with high-end prostitutes.
The range of his persuastion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”
The horrifying account of Hayek’s ordeal encapsulates much emotional abuse suffered at the hands of Weinstein, saying he reduced her to nothing more than a ‘body’.
After it became clear to Weinstein he was not going to manipulate Hayek into engaging in sexual activity with her, he allegedly offered her role and script to another actress.
In response, Hayek hired lawyers. Not to claim sexual harassment, but to try and get her out of a contract with Weinstein’s production company which had treated her so poorly.
In order to get out of the contract, Weinstein placed a bunch of near-impossible restraints on Hayek – and she delivered.
Hayek’s entire essay is an incredibly painful read, and one which everyone should read to get a further look into just how all-encompassing Weinstein’s power was, and the full extent to which he abused it.
Hayek’s account was of not just sexual abuse, but emotional abuse, professional and artistic sabotage.
Her account is an important milestone in uncovering the true extent to which Weinstein’s influence affected women in the movie industry, and hopefully the bravery of she and so many others will encourage the voices of those who were previously without one.