Colin Firth reveals he regrets not acting on Harvey Weinstein story he heard 20 years ago
The controversy regarding Harvey Weinstein and the huge number of women coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault from the big-time movie producer has given people a whole new impression of the industry. The fact that so many women are only coming forward now, decades after their alleged assaults, show just how intimidating it can be to report assault when it comes hand-in-hand with threatening your reputation, career, and your livelihood.
While many women who were assaulted by Weinstein chose to keep quiet and continue to focus on their acting careers, some refused to proceed on the movie path after their own encounters with the movie mogul. One such woman was Sophie Dix, an English actor who was on the verge of launching into a career in the film industry in the 1990s until she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein.
Dix, who is now 48 and working as a screenwriter, was at the time cast alongside Colin Firth in the 1993 UK film The Hour of the Pig (released in the US as The Advocate). The film – produced over 20 years ago – was backed by the Weinstein Company, and Dix thought she was about to break into a huge film career. Until the incident with Weinstein in a London hotel room.
And now, it's been revealed that Dix told Firth about the assault at the time it happened. Firth, who went on to become a huge movie star, spoke about how his then co-worker Dix came to him what happened. The actress was only 22 at the time and told him about “a distressing encounter” she had with Weinstein in a London hotel room.
Firth expressed shame in not having acted on it, saying the conversation haunts him now that he knows the severity of the incident and all others that have been revealed.
"She told me she had had a distressing encounter with Harvey Weinstein," he told The Guardian.
"I don't think she went into all the horrific detail I've read in her interview. But I remember her being profoundly upset by it. To my shame, I merely expressed sympathy.
"I didn't act on what she told me. It was a long time ago and I don't know if she remembers telling me, but the fact that I had that conversation has come back to haunt me in the light of these revelations.
"It's the only direct account of this kind of behaviour by Harvey Weinstein that's ever been told to me."
Firth said he was pleased that Dix finally spoke out about exactly what happened to her, adding “I admire Sophie’s courage. This can’t have been easy.”
“What I heard, it turns out, was part of a horrifying pattern. Other women have been hurt since. And those of us who didn’t act on our one bit of knowledge – and especially those of us who went on to work with Weinstein – have that on our conscience."
This was Firth's second statement about Weinstein, who initially said that he learned of the allegations “with a feeling of nausea”, describing Weinstein as “a powerful and frightening man to stand up to”.
In response to Firth’s comments, Dix said: “I am delighted Colin has spoken and I remember him being very supportive at the time. It’s never easy speaking out but I wanted to help resolve this problem and show that women cannot be treated like this in the workplace.”
She told The Guardian that he had invited her to his hotel room in London to view that day's footage, but found herself being pushed on the bed with Weinstein “tugging at her clothes”. The then 22-year-old then ran to the bathroom to hide, and opened the door to see the man “standing there masturbating” in front of her.
Dix says it was “the single most damaging thing that’s happened" in her life, leaving her traumatised, depressed and convinced that she no longer wanted to be a movie actress. However, she still went on to take on a number of TV acting roles, before more recently turning to screenwriting.