In a harrowing essay written for the New York Times, Salma Hayek opens up about the horrific treatment she endured while working with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. The essay is, admittedly, hard to read. Salma details the threats and verbal abuse she was subjected to, as well as the feeling of powerlessness she experienced.
Salma Hayek worked with Weinstein on the film Frida.
The actress says her greatest ambition was to tell the story of Frida Kahlo, the Mexican artist. She was acquainted with Weinstein through her relationship with director Robert Rodriguez, and Miramax agreed to produce Salma’s project. She says that she was thrilled when he said yes to her, but didn’t realize it would be the beginning of her repeatedly saying no to him.
My turn to share my art. I was inspired by Frida and painted this.
“No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with. No to me taking a shower with him.”
“And with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage”, writes Salma. She says his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking her, to full-blown rage.
At one point, after she refused his advances yet again, Weinstein threatened her life. “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”
Once Weinstein realized Salma wasn’t going to acquiesce, he told her he would give the role of Frida to another actress. She fought back, and was met with a list of impossible demands designed to extort her into complacency. Salma met every one of his demands, and against all odds, the movie went into production. She says that once filming began, the sexual harassment stopped, but his rage towards her continued.
At one point after shooting had begun, he approached her and told her no one would want to see her in the role because she wasn’t sexy enough. He threatened to shut down production and recast the roll, unless she agreed to include full-frontal nudity, and perform a lesbian sex scene. Backed into a corner, Salma agreed.
The production eventually wrapped, and the movie ended up winning 2 Academy Awards. It is considered the highlight of Salma’s career. Salma says she ran into Harvey years later, and he told her he was a changed man. So not only is he a disgusting, abusive monster, but he’s a goddamn liar, too.
(Image: Facebook/Salma Hayek Pinault)