Salma Hayek is telling her story about the “monster” she calls Harvey Weinstein. In an op-ed published by The New York Times on Wednesday, December 13, the 51-year-old actress recalled working with the disgraced movie executive for her 2002 film Frida and why decided to keep the events that transpired to herself for several years.
“In reality, I was trying to save myself the challenge of explaining several things to my loved ones: Why, when I had casually mentioned that I had been bullied like many others by Harvey, I had excluded a couple of details,” the Beatriz at Dinner star wrote.
VIEW GALLERY Salma recalled her time working with "monster" Harvey Weinstein Photo: Getty Images
“And why, for so many years, we have been cordial to a man who hurt me so deeply. I had been proud of my capacity for forgiveness, but the mere fact that I was ashamed to describe the details of what I had forgiven made me wonder if that chapter of my life had really been resolved," the actress continued. “When so many women came forward to describe what Harvey had done to them, I had to confront my cowardice and humbly accept that my story, as important as it was to me, was nothing but a drop in an ocean of sorrow and confusion. I felt that by now nobody would care about my pain — maybe this was an effect of the many times I was told, especially by Harvey, that I was nobody.”
Salma went on to tell the story about how after 14 years of being an up-and-coming actress, she was finally given the chance to star and produce in the film about the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo with Harvey’s funding. Though she initially felt validated by the producer, that quickly changed with his advances. “Little did I know it would become my turn to say no,” she shared in part. “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.”
VIEW GALLERY Salma is married to François-Henri Pinault Photo: Getty Images
After shutting down Harvey's advances, Salma, who is now married to François-Henri Pinault, noted that it became harder to work with him and that he gave her a list of “impossible demands with tight deadlines" — which included getting a rewrite of the script with no additional payment and raising $10 million to finance the film. When Salma delivered, with the help from friends Edward Norton, Antonio Banderas, Ashely Judd and more, Harvey became more irate, choosing to belittle her character and performance.
"He told me that the only thing I had going for me was my sex appeal and that there was none of that in this movie. So he told me he was going to shut down the film because no one would want to see me in that role," Salma said. "The only thing he noticed was that I was not sexy in the movie. He made me doubt if I was any good as an actress, but he never succeeded in making me think that the film was not worth making."
VIEW GALLERY Salma has joined Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie in speaking out about the disgraced film executive Photo: Getty Images
Years later, the Hitman’s Bodyguard star admitted that sharing her story about the man, who has also been accused of inappropriate behavior by Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd, allowed her to heal. “I am grateful for everyone who is listening to our experiences. I hope that adding my voice to the chorus of those who are finally speaking out will shed light on why it is so difficult, and why so many of us have waited so long,” Salma said. “Men sexually harassed because they could. Women are talking today because, in this new era, we finally can.”
A spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein responded to Salma’s allegations after the op-ed was published on Wednesday. “Mr. Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female costar and he was not there for the filming,” the statement read. “However, that was part of the story, as Frida Kahlo was bisexual and the more significant sex scene in the movie was choreographed by Ms. Hayek with Geoffrey Rush.” The statement continued: “All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who have witnessed the event have a different account of what transpired.”