Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein broke his months-long silence on Wednesday, Dec. 13, to deny claims he sexually harassed actress Salma Hayek or asked her to engage in oral sex. The Mexican-American star detailed the 65-year-old’s alleged abuses in an op-ed for the New York Times, stating that he asked her to take a shower with him, that he asked to watch her take a shower, and that he wanted to massage her, among other things.
Salma revealed she finally agreed to do a sex scene with a woman for 2002’s Frida after Harvey reportedly threatened to not let her finish the film if she refused. The 51-year-old said she was uncomfortable to shoot the scene because “I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein.”
Salma as Frida Kahlo in Frida.
In a statement released through his rep shortly after the Oscar nominee’s article was published, the producer said, “Mr. Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female co-star and he was not there for the filming. However, that was part of the story, as Frida Kahlo was bisexual and the more significant sex scene in the movie was choreographed by Ms. Hayek with Geoffrey Rush.”
In response to her other claims, the father-of-five stated, “All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired.” Harvey also emphasized that he fought for Salma to take the lead role over “bigger star” Jennifer Lopez.
The Miramax co-founder’s disturbing behavior first came to light in October after Ashley Judd and a handful of other women revealed they had been sexually harassed or assaulted by Harvey, and that he had reached financial settlements with many of them in exchange for their silence. Since then, a number of other influential men in the entertainment industry including Louis C.K., Mario Batali, and Matt Lauer, have been accused of similar conduct.