Kate Beckinsale recalls leaving “uneasy but unscathed” after an encounter with Harvey Weinstein in a hotel room when she was 17, during which he allegedly showed up in a bathrobe and offered her alcohol.
The New Yorker recently reported 13 women claim the producer sexually harassed or assaulted them and three of them accuse him of rape. Weinstein’s rep said in response to the story that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.” He has not been charged with a crime. Several actresses have recently come forward with their allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein, among them Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, who spoke to the New York Times, and Cara Delevingne, who penned an Instagram post.
“I was called to meet Harvey Weinstein at the Savoy Hotel when I was 17,” Beckinsale wrote in her own Instagram post on Thursday. “I assumed it would be in a conference room which was very common. When I arrived, reception told me to go to his room. He opened the door in his bathrobe. I was incredibly naive and young and it did not cross my mind that this older, unattractive man would expect me to have any sexual interest in him. After declining alcohol and announcing that I had school in the morning, I left, uneasy but unscathed.”
“A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting,” she wrote. “I realized he couldn’t remember if he had assaulted me or not. I had what I thought were boundaries – I said no to him professionally many times over the years-some of which ended up with him screaming at me calling me a c–t and making threats, some of which made him laughingly tell people oh ‘Kate lives to say no to me.’ It speaks to the status quo in this business that I was aware that standing up for myself and saying no to things, while it did allow me to feel uncompromised in myself, undoubtedly harmed my career and was never something I felt supported by anyone other than my family.”
The British actress’ career really took off about 10 years later, in the early 2000s, when she starred in films such as Pearl Harbor, Underworld, Serendipity and The Aviator. The latter two movies were co-produced by Miramax, which Weinstein had co-founded and co-owned at the time.
“I would like to applaud the women who have come forward, and to pledge that we can from this create a new paradigm where producers, managers, executives and assistants and everyone who has in the past shrugged and said, ‘Well, that’s just Harvey /Mr X/insert name here’ will realize that we in numbers can affect real change,” Beckinsale continued. “For every moment like this there have been thousands where a vulnerable person has confided outrageous unprofessional behavior and found they have no recourse, due to an atmosphere of fear that it seems almost everyone has been living in.”
“I had a male friend who, based on my experience, warned a young actress who said she was going to dinner with Harvey to be careful,” she wrote. “He received a phone call the next day saying he would never work in another Miramax film; the girl was already sleeping with Harvey and had told him that my friend had warned her off. Let’s stop allowing our young women to be sexual cannon fodder, and let’s remember that Harvey is an emblem of a system that is sick, and that we have work to do.”
Weinstein has not responded to Beckinsale’s remarks.
For years, there have been rumors in Hollywood about Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment towards women.
“I found out about Harvey about a year ago and I’m ashamed I didn’t say anything right then,” Jane Fonda told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “I was not that bold because I guess it hadn’t happened to me and so I didn’t feel it was my place.”
Another one of women who had spoken out about an alleged sexual assault by Weinstein, Rosanna Arquette, had told The New Yorker she was supposed to meet the producer for dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel to pick up a script but was told to meet him in his room, where she said he greeted her in a white bathrobe and asked her for a massage, and that when she rejected, she said he pulled her hand down toward his erect penis.
Fonda said Arquette had told her about the alleged encounter.
“It came as a shock and a great disappointment,” she added.