Kate Winslet has opened up about the moment she decided to leave Harvey Weinstein out of her Oscars acceptance speech – despite being ordered to thank the Hollywood producer when she stepped up to the stage.
The actor – who first hit the big screen in 1994’s Heavenly Creatures, which was produced by Weinstein – won her first Academy Award for The Reader in 2009.
However, when she stepped up to claim her much-deserved gong, she purposefully omitted Weinstein’s name from her speech – despite the fact that his company had funded and distributed the movie.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Winslet recalled: “That was deliberate. That was absolutely deliberate.
“I remember being told. ‘Make sure you thank Harvey if you win.’ And I remember turning around and saying, ‘No I won’t. No I won’t.’ And it was nothing to do with not being grateful. If people aren’t well-behaved, why would I thank him?”
Winslet added: “For my whole career, Harvey Weinstein, whenever I’ve bumped into him, he’d grab my arm and say, ‘Don’t forget who gave you your first movie.’ Like I owe him everything. Then later, with The Reader, same thing, ‘I’m gonna get you that Oscar nomination, I’m gonna get you a win, I’m gonna win for you.’
“But that’s how he operated. He was bullying and nasty. Going on a business level, he was always very, very hard to deal with — he was rude. He used to call my female agent a [vulgar name for a woman] every time he spoke to her on the telephone.”
The Titanic star added: “The fact that I’m never going to have to deal with Harvey Weinstein again as long as I live is one of the best things that’s ever happened and I'm sure the feeling is universal.”
Winslet was one of the first celebrities to condemn Weinstein after he hit headlines last week when allegations of sexual harassment and assault were detailed in a New York Times article and subsequent New Yorker piece.
Weinstein has now been publicly accused of sexual harassment and/or assault by some 20 women, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne, Romola Garai, Léa Seydoux and Asia Argento. Many of the women disclosed these revelations to reporters from The New Yorker and The New York Times, prompting others to come forward.
The disgraced producer, who has since been sacked from his own company and denies any allegations of non-consensual sex or “acts of retaliation” against those who refused alleged advances, has said in a statement via his spokesperson that he “has begun counselling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path.”
Images: Rex Features