'Game of Thrones' star reveals the impact that refusing Harvey Weinstein's advances had on her career
In October 2017, reports in The New York Times and The New York Reporter exposed Harvey Weinstein as a serial rapist and abuser of women in Hollywood. Over the following months, more than 80 women came forward to accuse the film producer of inappropriate conduct of varying degrees, eventually leading to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
Now, Lena Headey, who is currently best known for her role as Cersei in Game of Thrones, has come forward to say that she, too, was pursued by Weinstein - only she managed to get away. As a result, she found her acting career stifled after opportunities from Weinstein's studio, Miramax, dried up.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Headey revealed she only realised her career may have been sabotaged after the Weinstein scandal broke in 2017.
"After he was discovered to be a slimeball, on a grander scale than me just knowing it, I did start thinking, ‘F**k, maybe because I didn’t shag him, that’s impacted a decade of my working life’, because I did two jobs for Miramax before those incidents, and after that there was nothing," she said.
The actress has actually spoken out about her experiences with Weinstein before, back when he was first exposed. Back then, however, she had not comprehended what her interactions with him had spelled out for her over the following years.
Headey says that the first time she met the disgraced producer was at the Venice Film Festival in 2005. During their meeting, he invited her to take a walk, at which time he "made some suggestive comment and gesture" that made the actress very uncomfortable.
On another occasion, several years later, Headey says that Weinstein ran into her in LA, and invited her to his hotel room to "look at a script". Once there, however, he began making advances towards her. Again, she felt uneasy, and made it clear that she did not want anything of a sexual nature from Weinstein.
"I'm not interested in anything other than work, please don't think I got in [the lift] with you for any other reason," Headey recalls saying.
She later posted on Twitter about the interaction, saying that Weinstein was "furious" that she had rejected him, and had implicitly threatened her by saying that she was not to tell anyone "not your manager, not your agent" about how he had behaved.
Now, of course, the tables have turned. Headey is set to appear in the upcoming final season of Game of Thrones, and also has a leading role in the new film, Fighting With My Family. Meanwhile, Weinstein is currently facing five criminal charges in New York pertaining to two women he assaulted.
A number of other women are still accusing Weinstein of various crimes from assault to rape, but the producer has not been indicted on any other charges as of yet.
He is currently out on bail after paying a $1 million bond, and has been forced to wear a monitoring bracelet until his trial. He maintains his innocence.