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Entertainment Weekly

Movies

Harvey Weinstein responds to Lupita Nyong'o harassment accusations

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The day after Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o penned a powerful New York Times op-ed, accusing ‘harassment by Harvey Weinstein,’ the disgraced mogul has responded.

Weinstein denied the claims in a statement through a representative: “Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry. Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed.”

A rep for the Nyong’o says the actress has ‘no further comment.’

While a student at the Yale School of Drama, Nyong’o says she was invited to a private screening at Weinstein’s home, where he proceeded to ask to give her a massage. Feeling “unsafe,” she “panicked” and offered to give him one instead, until he attempted to remove his pants. Nyong’o left, but a few months later, the two met again and Weinstein allegedly propositioned her at a restaurant, an offer she declined, which quickly ended the meeting.

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images; Joe Maher/Getty Images

Just over two weeks ago a bombshell New York Times exposé reported “decades” of alleged sexual harassment by Weinstein. Since then high-profile actresses including Gwyneth PaltrowAngelina JolieKate BeckinsaleHeather GrahamRose McGowanCara Delevingne, and Mira Sorvino have come forward with claims of harassment and/or assault. Last week in a statement through a representative, Weinstein denied claims of sexual assault: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”

RELATED: 48 Woman Who Have Accused Harvey Weinstein of Sexual Misconduct

“I share all of this now because I know now what I did not know then, I was part of a growing community of women who were secretly dealing with harassment by Harvey Weinstein,” Nyong’o wrote in the Times. “I hope we are in a pivotal moment where a sisterhood — and brotherhood of allies — is being formed in our industry. I hope we can form a community where a woman can speak up about abuse and not suffer another abuse by not being believed and instead being ridiculed. That’s why we don’t speak up — for fear of suffering twice, and for fear of being labeled and characterized by our moment of powerlessness. Though we may have endured powerlessness at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, by speaking up, speaking out and speaking together, we regain that power. And we hopefully ensure that this kind of rampant predatory behavior as an accepted feature of our industry dies here and now.”

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