Hollywood actress Uma Thurman has accused movie producer Harvey Weinstein of assaulting her and threatening to ruin her career in an interview published on Saturday in The New York Times.
Thurman, 47, said she overlooked warning signs when she became well-acquainted with Weinstein after the success of the film Pulp Fiction (1994) distributed by his Miramax studio.
She said Weinstein, wearing a bathrobe, first tried to lure her into the steam room of a Paris hotel suite to discuss a script.
Later, in the “attack” in London’s Savoy Hotel, “he pushed me down,” Thurman said. “He tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things.”
Soon after this incident, Thurman took her friend Ilona Herman, Robert De Niro’s long-time makeup artist, with her to confront him but his assistants persuaded her to meet him alone.
Thurman said she told him: “If you do what you did to me to other people, you will lose your career, your reputation and your family, I promise you.”
Herman told Times that Thurman came out of that meeting “very dishevelled and so upset”. The actress told her that Weinstein had threatened to end her career.
Thurman said she regretted that Weinstein was able to continue his behaviour for decades. She also felt bad about all the women who were attacked by him after she was and thought she was one of the reasons that a young girl would walk into his room alone the way she did.
Weinstein, who is undergoing therapy for sexual addiction, confirmed through a spokeswoman “making a pass” at Thurman after “misreading her signals.”
Weinstein “acknowledges making an awkward pass 25 years ago at Thurman in England after misreading her signals, after a flirtatious exchange in Paris, for which he immediately apologized and deeply regrets,” the spokeswoman said in a statement received by AFP.
However, Thurman’s claims about being physically assaulted are untrue, the spokeswoman said.
Weinstein is saddened and puzzled as to why Thurman, whom he considers a colleague and friend, waited so long to make these allegations public, the spokeswoman added.
But after an initial report of sexual assault against Weinstein in Times in October and the #MeToo movement that followed, Thurman had hinted at mistreatment by the producer. In an Instagram post last November, she said: “you don’t deserve a bullet — stay tuned.”
Weinstein’s lawyer Ben Brafman said in his statement on Saturday that Thurman’s comments to the Times are being carefully examined and investigated before deciding whether any legal action against her would be appropriate.
Fellow actresses backed Thurman on social media. Reese Witherspoon describing her story as “deeply upsetting.” Jessica Chastain described Thurman as a warrior.