Harvey Weinstein is trying to silence his alleged victims with a campaign of intimidation, according to the first British actor to accuse the director of rape
A British actor who accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her says she and other alleged victims of the director have been “intimidated, bullied and frightened” as a result of coming forward.
Lysette Anthony says she contemplated suicide after going public with her allegations of sexual assault, in an emotionally charged essay for The Sunday Times.
Anthony, the first British actor to publicly accuse Weinstein of rape, said the director and his cohorts were responsible for “black ops and dirty tricks” in trying to silence his accusers.
“I have waived my right to anonymity because it gave me a voice,” she writes. “But people should ask themselves a very simple question: why am I the only actress in Britain who has had the guts to use her name? Why the silence?
“… I am appalled by the cowardice and collaboration that has gone on. People are very frightened.”
Anthony likened her “barbaric” treatment by Weinstein and his collaborators to that of another of the director’s accusers, Italian actor Asia Argento.
Last week it was reported that Argento, a leader of the #MeToo movement, paid $380,000 to actor Jimmy Bennett after he accused her of sexual assault (allegations she denies).
“I’m going to be flayed alive for speaking out, but I cannot stand by while Asia Argento is hurled under a bus,” writes Anthony.
“She has been extraordinarily courageous standing up to Weinstein. And now she’s being punished. She’s being vilified and abused.
“… When Asia told her story it was absolutely akin to mine and I cannot in good conscience let her carry the burden. It’s shaming and humiliating to stand up and say that man abused, raped and humiliated me and seriously damaged my career for many years.”
Anthony came forward last October to report that Weinstein had raped her in her London home in the late 1980s. Weinstein denies this and all allegations of non-consensual sex.
The Hollyoaks actor says she and other actors have suffered hugely as a result of going public against the director.
“The shame over years of degradation was enough to make me contemplate suicide at one point. A friend had to talk me down,” she writes. She adds that her son, Jimi, has been taunted with names such as “Harvey Weinstein’s bitch”.
“I know people have been sitting around dinner tables looking to find us complicit,” she says. “But this is not a story of actresses trying to further their careers. This is the story of a predator and a rapist. He’s hurt a shocking number of women. Please ask yourselves, ‘What is the cost of owning up to being part of his bloody harem?’ Quite a lot. “
Anthony is currently meeting with the Metropolitan Police to build her case against Weinstein.
The director denies all allegations of sexual assault and dirty tricks.