Many women have bravely opened up this week about experiencing sexual misconduct from Harvey Weinstein, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Asia Argento.
The latest to fearlessly share her experience with the Hollywood producer is Cara Delevingne. The model and actress sent the story of Weinstein trying to seduce her to journalist Yashar Ali, who published it on Twitter at her request.
In the statement, Delevingne opens by describing a phone call that happened between her and Weinstein years ago, when she first got into the acting business. She says he called her to ask if she'd slept with any women she had been photographed with. She says:
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.
Then, Delevingne describes a very disturbing incident that allegedly occurred a year or two later, when she had a meeting with Weinstein and a film director in a hotel lobby. After the director left, Weinstein asked her to "stay and chat," she claims.
She continues by explaining how she was convinced to go up to Weinstein's room.
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 I was wrong about the situation.
She says she went up to his room, and was relieved to find another woman in there, which made her feel safe, at first. However, Weinstein's alleged actions only got more inappropriate:
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.
Delevingne still got the part in the movie, and said she has since felt bad for accepting it, wondering if he cast her 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 was sort of thing had happened to so many women I know but not one has said anything because of fear. I want women and girls to know that being harassed or abused or raped is NEVER their fault and not talking about it will actually cause more damage than speaking the truth.
She adds that speaking her truth feels like a relief. Hopefully Cara Delevingne and other celebrities' openness will encourage other victims to share their stories, giving perpetrators less power. She concludes her story with this:
In every industry...men abuse their power using fear and get away with it. This must stop. The more we talk about it, the less power we give them. I urge you all to talk and to the people who defend these men, you are part of the problem.