In a searing personal essay for The New York Times, actress Salma Hayek writes that she too endured horrifying treatment from Harvey Weinstein. Not only does she claim, like dozens of other women, that Weinstein allegedly asked her for sexual favors—she also claims that he “physically dragged” her out of a party, constantly berated her, and made outrageous demands during the making of the 2002 biopic Frida. At one point, Weinstein even allegedly threatened her life. “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t,” Hayek recalls Weinstein saying to her when she refused one of his various alleged demands.
“I will kill you, don’t think I can’t,” Hayek recalls Weinstein saying to her when she refused one of his various alleged demands. Though the experience took a toll on her, Hayek kept the allegations to herself for years. Even now, after scores of women have made similar claims about Weinstein’s alleged sexual misconduct—to the point that the once-powerful producer has been driven out of Hollywood—Hayek believed that no one would be interested in hearing her story. “I felt that by now nobody would care about my pain—maybe this was an effect of the many times I was told, especially by Harvey, that I was nobody,” she writes. While making Frida for Miramax, Weinstein became her “monster,” Hayek writes. She claims she frequently had to reject his sexual propositions, which included Weinstein asking her to take a shower with him or letting him watch her shower, asking to give her a massage, asking her to let a naked friend of his give her a massage, asking her for oral sex, and asking her to get naked with another woman. And not all of his alleged demands were overtly sexual in nature. There was one night, Hayek claims, when Weinstein called her in the middle of the night demanding she fire her agent. On another occasion, Hayek writes, Weinstein began “physically dragging me out of the opening gala of the Venice Film Festival, which was in honor of Frida, so I could hang out at his private party with him.” Hayek claims that Weinstein also continually tossed hurdles in Hayek’s way as she struggled to get Frida—a film she produced and starred in—made. Eventually, Hayek says, she had to hire lawyers to pursue a “bad faith” case against Weinstein to move forward with the film. In order “to clear himself legally, as I understood it,” Hayek writes, Weinstein then gave her a fresh list of demands, requiring her to get the script re-written (for free), find $10 million for financing, and enlist a star director as well as a star supporting cast. Hayek ultimately delivered, but Weinstein’s demands did not cease, she alleges.
She claims that Weinstein repeatedly berated her and Frida director Julie Taymor, and later demanded that Hayek shoehorn a full-frontal nude sex scene with another woman into the film, even though such a scene did not appear in the script. Representatives for Taymor have not responded to Vanity Fair’s request for comment. Hayek ultimately agreed, but says she had a “nervous breakdown” on the set when it was time to shoot the scene. She was “crying and convulsing” at the thought of filming it solely to assuage Weinstein, she writes, and started throwing up—to the point that she “had to take a tranquilizer, which eventually stopped the crying but made the vomiting worse,” she writes. “As you can imagine, this was not sexy, but it was the only way I could get through the scene.”