Harvey Weinstein responds rape allegations

In an emotional New York Times op ed published Wednesday, Salma Hayek detailed her experiences with Weinstein through the course of the making of the 2002 Miramax Frida Kahlo biopic “Frida”

harvey's fall from grace

Harvey Weinstein responded via a spokesperson Wednesday evening to Salma Hayek’s allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse.

“All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by [Hayek] are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired,” the spokesperson said in a statement to EW. According to the statement, Weinstein “regards Salma Hayek as a first-class actress” and acknowledges that “there was creative friction” on the set of Frida.

The spokesperson added, “By Mr. Weinstein’s own admission, his boorish behavior following a screening of Frida was prompted by his disappointment in the cut of the movie.” The spokesperson also noted that Frida opened in five theaters, not two as Hayek had indicated.

In an emotional New York Times op ed published Wednesday, the 51-year-old actress detailed her experiences with Weinstein through the course of the making of the 2002 Miramax Frida Kahlo biopic “Frida” — claiming, among other things, that he had once threatened to kill her when she refused his advances.

“Knowing what I know now,” she continued, “I wonder if it wasn’t my friendship with them — and Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney — that saved me from being raped.”

According to Hayek, “The range of his persuasion 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,’” she wrote.

Hayek said once filming started Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment stopped, but not his anger. She claimed Weinstein openly criticized Frida’s unibrow and her own performance in front of her cast members. When they were alone, he allegedly threatened to shut down the production if she didn’t perform a full-frontal sex scene with Ashley Judd in the film. (Judd was one of the first women to come forward with sexual harassment claims against Weinstein.)

“My mind understood that I had to do it, but my body wouldn’t stop crying and convulsing,” Hayek, who agreed to the scene after numerous interference from Weinstein, wrote. “At that point, I started throwing up while a set frozen still waited to shoot. I had to take a tranquilizer, which eventually stopped the crying but made the vomiting worse. As you can imagine, this was not sexy, but it was the only way I could get through the scene.”

After the scene was shot, the battle was still not over. Hayek recalled how Weinstein didn’t think the scene was good enough and tried to confine the release of Frida to a single theater in New York. After fighting with Taymor, he agreed to Hayek over the phone to open the film in Los Angeles, as well.

Some of Hayek’s claims align with what Down and Dirty Pictures author Peter Biskind and New York magazine writer Seth Mnookin, who recounted Weinstein’s public explosion at a Frida test screening on March 4, 2002, in New York City. When Taymor told Weinstein “the film succeeded,” he reportedly screamed in response, “You are the most arrogant person I have ever met. Go market the f—ing film yourself.” Weinstein blamed the incident, which also included aggressive tirades against Taymor’s agent and Miramax executives, on “spiked glucose levels and poor nutrition.”

As to why she came forward now, Hayek wrote, “I am inspired by those who had the courage to speak out, especially in a society that elected a president who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than a dozen women and whom we have all heard make a statement about how a man in power can do anything he wants to women. Well, not anymore.”

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