Uma Thurman breaks silence on Harvey Weinstein, details alleged assault
Uma Thurman is finally ready to talk.
The star of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill films had been “waiting to feel less angry” before addressing the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, but a new story in The New York Times details Thurman’s claim that the now-ousted movie mogul sexually assaulted her.
“The complicated feeling I have about Harvey is how bad I feel about all the women that were attacked after I was,” the actress said.
“I am one of the reasons that a young girl would walk into his room alone, the way I did. Quentin used Harvey as the executive producer of Kill Bill, a movie that symbolizes female empowerment,” she added. “And all these lambs walked into slaughter because they were convinced nobody rises to such a position who would do something illegal to you, but they do.”
After detailing an earlier incident when she was sexually assaulted by an unnamed actor in New York City when she was 16, Thurman recalled a moment with Weinstein in a Paris hotel when he pulled out a bathrobe and led her into a steam room. The incident allegedly occurred after she met Weinstein following the release of Pulp Fiction and they had been arguing about a script.
“I was standing there in my full black leather outfit — boots, pants, jacket. And it was so hot and I said, ‘This is ridiculous, what are you doing?’” Thurman said. “And he was getting very flustered and mad and he jumped up and ran out.”
The first “attack,” she said, came soon after in Weinstein’s Savoy Hotel room in London. “It was such a bat to the head,” the actress said. “He pushed me down. He tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things. But he didn’t actually put his back into it and force me. You’re like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard. I was doing anything I could to get the train back on the track. My track. Not his track.”
In the aftermath, Thurman said Weinstein had sent her flowers, and his assistants tried reaching out about future projects. Shen then states she approached him and warned, “If you do what you did to me to other people you will lose your career, your reputation, and your family, I promise you.”
Ilona Herman, a makeup artist for Robert DeNiro and friend of Thurman, told The Times she was present at the hotel at the time of the confrontation. She claims Thurman revealed in the cab ride back that Weinstein threatened to derail her career.
A spokesperson for Weinstein pointed EW to six photographs “that demonstrate the strong relationship Mr. Weinstein and Ms. Thurman had had over the years and we wish The New York Times would have published them.”
The statement acknowledges Weinstein made “an awkward pass 25 years ago at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals, after a flirtatious exchange in Paris, for which he immediately apologized and deeply regrets.
“However,” the statement continues, “her claims about being physically assaulted are untrue. And this is the first time we have heard those details. There was no physical contact during Mr. Weinstein’s awkward pass, and Mr. Weinstein is saddened and puzzled as to ‘why’ Ms. Thurman, someone he considers a colleague and a friend, waited 25 years to make these allegations public, noting that he and Ms. Thurman have shared a very close and mutually beneficial working relationship where they have made several very successful film projects together.”
The rep further tells EW a more “detailed response” from Weinstein’s attorney will be released at a later time.
Thurman told the The Times that the animosity between herself and Weinstein affected her relationship with Tarantino, whom Thurman said she confided in about the incident in London. She further detailed a moment that happened in the final days of filming Kill Bill in Mexico. For her famous scene in which Beatrix muses about killing Bill as she drives along a long road, Thurman said she was pressured against her will by the director to drive a vehicle she had been warned was unstable.
In never-before-seen footage from inside the car, available to watch through The Times’ website, the vehicle crashes into a tree. “I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again,’” Thurman told The Times. “When I came back from the hospital in a neck brace with my knees damaged and a large massive egg on my head and a concussion, I wanted to see the car and I was very upset. Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me. And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn’t feel he had tried to kill me.”
Other behavior, according to Thurman, included Tarantino spitting on her face for the opening black-and-white scene of Kill Bill and choking her with the chain for filming the fight sequence with Gogo.
Reps for Tarantino did not immediately respond to EW’s requests for comment. He did, however, say in an October interview about the Weinstein allegations, “I knew enough to do more than I did. There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things.”
Thurman’s ex-husband Ethan Hawke told The Times that the filmmaker was “very upset with himself and asked for my forgiveness” when he confronted him at the time.
“Quentin finally atoned by giving [the car crash footage] to me after 15 years, right?” Thurman said. “Not that it matters now, with my permanently damaged neck and my screwed-up knees.”
Read the full article from The New York Times.