Lena Headey reveals the details of her encounter with Harvey Weinstein
When the allegations of rape, sexual assault and harassment directed at film producer Harvey Weinstein started to come in this month, it was a lot to take in at once. He was fired as chairman of The Weinstein Company and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but the news didn't end there.
By this point, more than 40 women have accused him of misconduct of various degrees, including Rose McGowan, Cara Delevinge, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. In the subsequent days, we have heard more and more men and women come forward about the mistreatment they have faced within the industry, from Reese Witherspoon to Terry Crews.
The latest addition to this unfortunately long list of victims is Lena Headey, who has alleged that her meetings with Weinstein in the past were horrible ordeals. The Game of Thrones star posted the story as a series of images on Twitter, describing her account of when she encountered the maligned film producer in a hotel.
The first time they met was at The Venice Film Festival, where The Brothers Grimm was showing. Headey says that the producer asked her to go down to the water for a conversation, but eventually made a "suggestive comment" and a "gesture" which "genuinely shocked" her. After she laughed it off as a joke, Lena remarked that she was "was never in any other Miramax film".
She claims that the time Weinstein invited her to breakfast while she was visiting Los Angeles ended up far worse:
"I had always carried the thought that he'd never try anything with me again, not after I'd laughed and said never in a million years. I believed that he respected my boundary and maybe he wanted to talk about potential work.
"He asked me to meet for breakfast. We ate breakfast, we talked about films, filmmaking. He asked me a few questions about the state of my love life. I shifted the conversation back to something less personal."
"Then he went to the loo. He came back and said, 'Let's go up to the room, I want to give you a script.' We walked to the lift and the energy shifted, my whole body went into high alert, the lift was going up and I said to Harvey, 'I'm not interested in anything other than work. Please don't think I got in here with you for any other reason, nothing is going to happen.'"
Eventually, she plucked up the courage to nip any potential misunderstanding at its root, before anything further happened. "I don't know what possessed me to speak out at that moment," she wrote, "only that I had such a strong sense of 'don't come near me'". She continues:
"He was silent after I spoke, furious."
"We got out of the lift and walked to his room. His hand was on my back, he was marching me forward, not a word, I felt completely powerless, he tried his key card and it didn't work, then he got really angry."
"He walked me back to the lift, through the hotel to the valet, by grabbing and holding tightly to the back of my arm, he paid for my car and whispered in my ear:
"'Don't tell anyone about this, not your manager, not your agent.'"
"I got into my car and I cried."
Leadey's allegation is bad enough on its own, but with more and more stories like it making the news, the reality behind Weinstein's public persona is being shown to be far more monstrous than we knew. On a positive note, it has spurred a plethora of people within the industry to speak up about his actions, the actions of other sexual predators, and the culture that allowed it to happen. Hopefully, this will spark some change within the movie business.