Lupita Nyong'o has joined the long list of celebrities to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse. The 12 Years A Slave actress has claimed that she fled the disgraced movie mogul's family home as he tried getting naked in front of her in a bedroom.
The 34-year-old actress, in an op-ed for The New York Times, has said that she left Weinstein's home as the 65-year-old movie producer was removing his pants after offering her a massage while his children were in the house.
Nyong'o, who met Weinstein a couple of times when she was just starting out in Hollywood, has claimed that before she faced the horrifying ordeal at the movie producer's family home in Connecticut — where she was invited to watch the screening of a movie — she was asked to meet him at a restaurant for lunch where he tried to force her to drink alcohol.
After finishing their lunch, Weinstein took Nyong'o to his home, where she was introduced to his children and domestic staff.
Weinstein allegedly interrupted Nyong'o, who was watching the movie and invited her to his bedroom. After much hesitation she obliged and upon entering the room, Weinstein asked her if he could give her a massage. However, Nyong'o claims she offered him one instead as she was in a state of panic.
While she was massaging Weinstein the actress was thinking of ways to free herself from the awkward situation. She escaped from the room when he started to take off his pants despite her protests, Nyong'o wrote.
"I opened the door and stood by the frame. He put his shirt on and again mentioned how stubborn I was," she wrote. "I agreed with an easy laugh, trying to get myself out of the situation safely. I was after all on his premises, and the members of his household, the potential witnesses, were all (strategically, it seems to me now) in a soundproof room."
Nyong'o initially "reasoned that it had been inappropriate and uncalled-for, but not overtly sexual. I was entering into a business where the intimate is often professional and so the lines are blurred."
After the massage incident, Nyong'o said she met up with Weinstein for dinner and a staged reading of his new Broadway show Finding Neverland, with her friends and some of Weinstein's colleagues.
Nyong'o also claims that months after the second meeting with Weinstein, she was invited to have drinks with him at the Tribeca Grill after the screening of W.E.
When she arrived at the restaurant, Nyong'o claims she was informed by a female assistant that it would just be her and Weinstein. The movie mogul, during their time at the restaurant, allegedly suggested that she accompany him upstairs, where he had a private room, to have the rest of their dinner.
"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. He said he had dated Famous Actress X and Y and look where that had gotten them," she wrote.
She declined his offer and they left the restaurant.
"Before I got in [a taxi], I needed to make sure that I had not awakened a beast that would go on to ruin my name and destroy my chances in the business even before I got there," she wrote. "'I just want to know that we are good,' I said. 'I don't know about your career, but you'll be fine,' he said. It felt like both a threat and a reassurance at the same time; of what, I couldn't be sure."
In a statement to E! News, Weinstein's spokesperson responded to the star's op-ed piece, saying, "Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry. Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed."