Anne Heche says she was fired for refusing Harvey Weinstein's sexual advances
The Blackout star revealed that she was fired from a film project after refusing to perform oral sex on the disgraced mogul.
“I personally did not suck Harvey’s d—, although he showed it to me and I got out of the room before there was any physical contact,” she said Wednesday on the Allegedly with Theo Vonn & Matthew Cole Weiss podcast.
“The fact is, I was fired from a job that I had been hired for in Miramax,” she continued, referring to the production company founded by Weinstein and his brother Bob. “The repercussions of standing up for yourself were as deep and targeted as some of the scars of the women who actually got more physically, unfortunately, involved.”
Weinstein, 65, has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 60 women since The New York Times and The New Yorker documented decades of alleged sexual misconduct and sexual assault involving a number of women in detailed articles in October.
A spokesperson for Weinstein previously told PEOPLE in a statement that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”
Heche said she kept the alleged incident a secret out of fear of retribution. “First of all, you were threatened the second you walk out the door,” she explained, noting that Weinstein allegedly preyed on younger, more vulnerable actresses.
“That’s why every one of us was 19, 20, 21 or 22. He didn’t go after the 40-year-old woman,” she said. “He hits on me when I’m 19, 20, 21, 22, vulnerable, scared, frightened. And that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen anymore, but it sure as hell got a kick in the pants the last couple of months.”
Heche credited her past experiences with sexual abuse, which she detailed her in 2001 memoir Call Me Crazy, for giving her the awareness to escape Weinstein.
“If I wasn’t sexually abused as a child, I don’t know if I would have had the strength to stand up to Harvey and many others. It was not just Harvey, and I will say that. The callousness I had towards anybody trying to take advantage of me was huge,” she said.
Asked why more women didn’t come forward, Heche explained, “The efforts he made to have people followed, to have spies, to have threats, he fired people. You’re talking about girls, young actresses are very vulnerable. A lot of us come from hurt backgrounds, abusive background.”
She added, “What happens when you come from a broken place, you don’t have any guidance, you don’t have support, a parent you can go to. And you certainly don’t want to go to Harvey’s partner and say this happened. And you’re also followed and threatened.
“People were shut down, you didn’t have different avenues, you’re an actress. You come to L.A., you’re alone, you don’t have friends that you are being able to talk to and that’s what he takes advantage of, that isolated, vulnerable girl.”
Heche also said men in the industry are victimized by female and gay executives. “Absolutely, 100%. I read one article about a woman who said that the people who protected Harvey were the women who weren’t pretty enough for him to f—. And so they became the “D” girls, the development girls, the young producers, and went up that rank, and they were equally as horrified and humiliated to be doing their job because they had to be keeping the secrets and if they didn’t keep the secrets then they would be fired.”
Ultimately, Heche said, “There is no bigger monster [than Weinstein] and it’s great that’s he’s being taken down.”
This article originally appeared on People.com