Lena Headey has taken to Twitter to share her own sexual harassment story, allegedly involving Harvey Weinstein.
Headey joins a host of other high-profile women – from Cara Delevingne and Kate Beckinsdale to Rose McGowan – who’ve stepped up and shared their own accounts of experiences with the disgraced Hollywood producer since news of alleged repeated sexual misconduct, said to have been carried out over decades in the industry, broke.
The Game of Thrones actress says she met Weinstein at the 2005 Venice Film Festival, while starring in the film The Brothers Grimm. Starring opposite Heath Ledger and Matt Damon, the movie was directed by Terry Gilliam – who Headey says subjected her to “endless bullying”.
“At one point Harvey asked me to take a walk down to the water, I walked down with him and he stopped and made some suggestive comment, a gesture,” Headey shared on Twitter yesterday (Tuesday 17 October).
She says she was shocked but attempted to laugh it off with a joke, but added: “I was never in any other Miramax film.”
Harvey, and his brother Bob, both founded Miramax in 1979, which has since produced many popular films such as Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting to Shakespeare In Love.
However, despite believing the situation ended there, Headey says there was a second incident that left her feeling “completely powerless”.
Saying she “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”, she goes on to recount how years later, in LA, Weinstein asked to meet her for breakfast: “Maybe he wanted to talk about potential work.”
During the meeting, Headey says they both discussed films, but Weinstein also asked her about her current love life. He then got up and went to the bathroom, and when he returned he said: “Let’s go up to the room, I want to give you a script.”
As they walked to the elevator, “the energy shifted” and her “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,’” she wrote.
“I don’t know what possessed me to speak out at that moment, only that I had such a strong sense of don’t come near me.”
According to Headey, Weinstein’s response was silent and he was “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,” Headey wrote.
Women have continued to speak out, both about Weinstein and their experiences in Hollywood generally.
Fellow actress Laura Dern has come forward saying that when she started her career she believed sexual harassment to be a “prerequisite”.
According to people.com, Dern, speaking at the Elle Women in Hollywood event on Monday (16 October), said: “I have not spoken to one person, nor will you tonight, who hasn’t had an experience with sexual harassment in the work pace. It seemed as if it was supposed to be a prerequisite.
“I was one of the lucky few who was raised by an actress, I had a godmother who was an actress, and a father who was an actor. So I was told all the stories, so I knew with eyes wide open what should be unacceptable. And it was still terrifying and I still got bullied and still experienced trauma.”
Last week, Weinstein issued an apology and reiterated that he is going to seek therapy, though he denies any non-consensual sex or any professional repercussions from alleged rejected sexual advances.
In a statement, he said: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”
Images: Rex Features