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Kenya:Lupita Nyong'o On Harvey Weinstein - I Felt Unsafe

Photo: Lupita

Lupita

By Caro Rolando

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o has joined tens of other women in accusing Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.

The Academy Award-winning actress wrote candidly about her experiences with Mr. Weinstein in an opinion piece published by the New York Times on October 19.

Ms. Nyong'o details numerous instances in which Mr. Weinstein made her feel uncomfortable and unsafe. On one occasion, the producer invited her to a film screening at his house. Ms. Nyong'o says that only 15 minutes into the film, Mr. Weinstein coerced her into giving him a massage, and tried to take his pants off.

On another occasion, Mr. Weinstein invited her for dinner after an event.

"Let's cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal," Ms. Nyong'o remembers Mr. Weinstein saying.

When she declined, she recalls Mr. Weinstein telling her that if she wanted to be an actress, then she had to be willing to do that sort of thing.

In speaking out about Mr. Weinstein, Ms. Nyong'o joins tens of other women who have accused the producer of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Since the New York Times published its initial investigation on October 5, over 30 women have spoken out about Mr. Weinstein, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd.

"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 behaviour as an accepted feature of our industry dies here and now," Nyong'o wrote in The New York Times.

Nyong'o and her colleagues' accusations have inspired a wave of solidarity over social media. Thousands of women - and some men- have used the hashtag #MeToo to share their own experiences with sexual assault and harassment.

Following the sexual assault claims, Mr. Weinstein was fired The Weinstein Company, of which he is a co-founder. He was also expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on October 14. Police in New York, London and Los Angeles are currently investigating accusations of rape against Mr. Weinstein.

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