After rebuffing his advance, Nyong’o said the dinner promptly ended with food left uneaten, and while she waited for a cab she asked the 65-year-old producer for an assurance that everything was OK.
“‘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,” Nyong’o wrote.
Fortunately, the actress’ career soared and she went on to win a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award in 2014 for her role in 12 Years A Slave, setting the stage for her most recent encounter with the producer shortly afterwards.
After turning down a role in a Weinstein Company-backed film — Nyong’o says she didn’t want to take a part that required working with Weinstein — he insisted on meeting with her in Cannes, a meeting she accepted only because her agent would also be in the room. But, according to the actress, Weinstein wouldn’t accept her rejection of the role. “I ran out of ways of politely saying no and so did my agent,” she wrote. “I was so exasperated by the end that I just kept quiet.”
The actress says she’d felt alone at the time and wishes she’d known that she didn’t have to be silent, that there were people who would listen to and believe her. “Now that we are speaking, let us never shut up about this kind of thing,” she said. “I speak up to make certain that this is not the kind of misconduct that deserves a second chance. I speak up to contribute to the end of the conspiracy of silence.”
In a statement to ET, a spokesperson for Weinstein said, “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.”