Cara Delevingne And Lea Seydoux Join The Growing List Of Harvey Weinstein Accusers
"That’s the most disgusting thing. Everyone knew what Harvey was up to and no one did anything."
The following article discusses sexual assault.
More women have come forward to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. That, by the way, is a sentence we’ve written an awful lot of in the last couple of days.
This time last week, The New York Times published a staggering expose accusing Weinstein, one of the most influential men in Hollywood, of decades of abuse. Since then, more women have come forward, alleging everything from harassment to assault and rape. Yesterday it was Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. Today it’s Lea Seydoux and Cara Delevingne.
In an Instragram post, Delevingne alleges that when she first started working as an actress, she received a phone call from Weinstein asking her about her sexuality. “It was a very odd and uncomfortable call,” wrote Delevingne. “I answered none of his questions and hurried off the phone but before I hung up, he said to me that if I was gay or decided to be with a woman especially in public that I’d never get the role of a straight woman or make it as an actress in Hollywood.”
A year or two later, the actress says she met with Weinstein, along with a director, in a hotel bar to discuss an upcoming film. According to Delevingne, as soon as the director left, Weinstein started bragging about the actresses he had slept with, and how he had helped make their careers, before inviting her up to his room.
“At that moment I felt very powerless and scared but didn’t want to act that way hoping that I was wrong about the situation,” she wrote.
When she went up to his room, Delevingne says there was another woman there, and that Weinstein instructed the two of them to kiss. When Delevingne tried to leave, she alleges that Weinstein tried to kiss her himself, before she managed to get out of the room.
“I still got the part for the film and always thought that he gave it to me because of what happened,” she wrote. “I felt like I didn’t deserve the part. I was so hesitant about speaking out. I didn’t want to hurt his family. I felt guilty as if I did something wrong. I was also terrified that this sort of thing had happened to so many women I know but no one had said anything because of fear.”
When I first started to work as an actress, i was working on a film and I received a call from Harvey Weinstein asking if I had slept with any of the women I was seen out with in the media. It was a very odd and uncomfortable call….i answered none of his questions and hurried off the phone but before I hung up, he said to me that If I was gay or decided to be with a woman especially in public that I’d never get the role of a straight woman or make it as an actress in Hollywood. A year or two later, I went to a meeting with him in the lobby of a hotel with a director about an upcoming film. The director left the meeting and Harvey asked me to stay and chat with him. As soon as we were alone he began to brag about all the actresses he had slept with and how he had made their careers and spoke about other inappropriate things of a sexual nature. He then invited me to his room. I quickly declined and asked his assistant if my car was outside. She said it wasn’t and wouldn’t be for a bit and I should go to his room. At that moment I felt very powerless and scared but didn’t want to act that way hoping that I was wrong about the situation. When I arrived I was relieved to find another woman in his room and thought immediately I was safe. He asked us to kiss and she began some sort of advances upon his direction. I swiftly got up and asked him if he knew that I could sing. And I began to sing….i thought it would make the situation better….more professional….like an audition….i was so nervous. After singing I said again that I had to leave. He walked me to the door and stood in front of it and tried to kiss me on the lips. I stopped him and managed to get out of the room. I still got the part for the film and always thought that he gave it to me because of what happened. Since then I felt awful that I did the movie. I felt like I didn’t deserve the part. I was so hesitant about speaking out….I didn’t want to hurt his family. I felt guilty as if I did something wrong. I was also terrified that this sort of thing had happened to so many women I know but no one had said anything because of fear.
Meanwhile, French actress Lea Seydoux has penned a blistering essay for The Guardian in which she accuses Weinstein of attempting to force himself on her the first time they met.
“All throughout the evening, he flirted and stared at me as if I was a piece of meat,” Seydoux wrote. “He acted as if he were considering me for a role. But I knew that was bullshit. I knew it, because I could see it in his eyes. He had a lecherous look. He was using his power to get sex.”
Later, Seydoux says Weinstein invited her up to his hotel room. “It was hard to say no because he’s so powerful,” she wrote. “All the girls are scared of him. Soon, his assistant left and it was just the two of us. That’s the moment where he started losing control.”
“We were talking on the sofa when he suddenly jumped on me and tried to kiss me. I had to defend myself. He’s big and fat, so I had to be forceful to resist him. I left his room, thoroughly disgusted.”
“That’s the most disgusting thing. Everyone knew what Harvey was up to and no one did anything.”
Seydoux says she has observed Weinstein behave this way with a number of other young women. “I’ve seen how he operates: the way he looks for an opening,” she wrote. “The way he tests women to see what he can get away with.”
“One night, I saw him in London for the Baftas. He was hitting on a young woman. Another time, at the Met Life ball, I saw him trying to convince a young woman to sleep with him. Everyone could see what he was doing.”
“That’s the most disgusting thing. Everyone knew what Harvey was up to and no one did anything. It’s unbelievable that he’s been able to act like this for decades and still keep his career. That’s only possible because he has a huge amount of power.”
Seydoux also wrote that Weinstein was far from the only man in the industry guilty of this kind of behaviour.
“In this industry, there are directors who abuse their position. They are very influential, that’s how they can do that. With Harvey, it was physical. With others, its just words… It’s very common to encounter these kinds of men.”
“This industry is based on desirable actresses,” she wrote. “You have to be desirable and loved. But not all desires have to be fulfilled, even though men in the industry have an expectation that theirs should be. I think – and hope – that we might finally see a change. Only truth and justice can bring us forward.”
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
Men can access anonymous confidential telephone counselling to help to stop using violent and controlling behaviour through the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.
Feature images via Wikimedia