The beloved actress Salma Hayek has come forward to share her personal Harvey Weinstein horror story in an op-ed published in the New York Times on Tuesday.
"Harvey Weinstein was a passionate cinephile, a risk taker, a patron of talent in film, a loving father and a monster. For years, he was my monster," Hayek wrote in the opening of her piece.
The 51-year-old actress shared how she's been approached multiple times by reporters this fall about the Weinstein allegations, and only just now has she felt the energy and urge to speak about her personal experiences.
The Oscar nominee shared a string of incidents in which Weinstein solicited her for sexual contact and she denied him. Each refusal, she wrote, was met with "Harvey's Machiavellian rage."
She wrote, specifically, of all the times she said no to the 65-year-old former producer:
"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. No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage. No to letting him give me oral sex. No to my getting naked with another woman."
She wrote that one time, his rage at her refusal was so big he told the actress: "I will kill you, don't think I can't."
The actress detailed how Weinstein's rage directly spilled into her career opportunities, when he threatened to replace her in "Frida" after she refused his advances. She was forced to obtain lawyers in order to keep her role in the film, and eventually, she begrudgingly accepted Weinstein's demand that she film a sex scene with another woman.
She wrote about how traumatized she felt the day of that scene:
"I arrived on the set the day we were to shoot the scene that I believed would save the movie. And for the first and last time in my career, I had a nervous breakdown: My body began to shake uncontrollably, my breath was short and I began to cry and cry, unable to stop, as if I were throwing up tears. Since those around me had no knowledge of my history of Harvey, they were very surprised by my struggle that morning. It was not because I would be naked with another woman. It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein."
Hayek's personal essay also went on the point out how a dearth of female directors, producers, and show runners causes many women to stay silent about workplace abuses.
"Until there is equality in our industry, with men and women having the same value in every aspect of it, our community will continue to be a fertile ground for predators," the 51-year-old actress wrote.
Hopefully, this wave of women speaking up will help spearhead a much needed cultural shift for how Hollywood handles issues of sexual assault, but also how sexual harassment and rape is treated in general. The ultimate goal, of course, would be to extinguish these abuses completely. Or at least, stop protecting predators.