After multiple women have come forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, Heather Graham is speaking up with her own story, claiming the producer once implied that if she wanted a role in one of his films, she had to have sex with him.
Graham recounted the story to Variety, alleging that in the early 2000s, Weinstein called her into his office and offered to cast her in one of his movies. According to Graham, he indirectly propositioned her by telling her he had an arrangement with his wife and could “sleep with whomever he wanted when he was out of town.”
“I walked out of the meeting feeling uneasy,” Graham told Variety. “There was no explicit mention that to star in one of those films I had to sleep with him, but the subtext was there.”
Weinstein later invited Graham for a one-on-one meeting at his hotel, according to the actress, but she refused to see him alone. She never spoke publicly about the incident, but she said she chose to share her story after Ashley Judd came forward last week and accused Weinstein of sexual harassment in The New York Times.
“It wasn’t until Ashley Judd heroically shared her story a few days ago that I felt ashamed,” Graham said. “If I had spoken up a decade ago, would I have saved countless women from the same experience I had or worse?”
“The question — and this is not an excuse — is what defines sexual harassment in the workplace?” she continued. “He didn’t explicitly offer a trade — sex for work — even though I knew that was what he was implying. And I hadn’t gone to his hotel. I know this is an inner dialogue many women have — it’s part of what’s holding so many of us back from sharing our stories. We don’t want to be attacked for reading into something that may or may not have been there. We don’t want to be looked at as weak for not being able to handle ourselves in a business run by men. We don’t want to lose work by being defined as a Difficult Woman. We don’t want to be the first or only voice in the room.”
Within the last week, both The New York Times and The New Yorker have published bombshell exposés alleging decades of sexual harassment by Weinstein. Three women, including actress and filmmaker Asia Argento, have accused Weinstein of sexual assault, and other actresses like Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie have come forward to say that they too were sexually harassed.
Weinstein has been terminated from his position at The Weinstein Company. After the New Yorker story, a representative for Weinstein said in part, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
Read Graham’s full comments at Variety.