In the weeks since Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's catastrophic fall from grace, dozens of women have stepped from the shadows to bring more and more allegations against him.
All told, the tally has now reached disturbing proportions: some 59 women have come forward to tell their stories.
As for Weinstein, after a short — many say far too short — stint in rehab for sex addiction, the disgraced mogul broke his silence to dispute just one allegation.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reports:
Harvey Weinstein broke his silence from rehab to dispute Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o’s claims that he sexually harassed her, in a statement released Friday.
The movie mogul responded to Nyong’o’s claims that he sexually harassed her in 2011 in a statement issued from his assistant, Fox News reported. While at least 59 women have so far come forward to make assault and harassment claims against Weinstein, Nyong’o’s is one of the few to which Weinstein has responded.
“Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry. Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed,” the statement read.
Nyong’o explained in an article for The New York Times how her invitation to Weinstein was meant to be a way to maintain a professional relationship with him after what she initially saw as an inappropriate incident (Weinstein attempted to ply her with alcohol, which she refused, and then asked to give her a massage):
Harvey led me into a bedroom — his bedroom — and announced that he wanted to give me a massage. I thought he was joking at first. He was not. For the first time since I met him, I felt unsafe. I panicked a little and thought quickly to offer to give him one instead: It would allow me to be in control physically, to know exactly where his hands were at all times.
He agreed to this and lay on the bed. I began to massage his back to buy myself time to figure out how to extricate myself from this undesirable situation. Before long he said he wanted to take off his pants. I told him not to do that and informed him that it would make me extremely uncomfortable. He got up anyway to do so and I headed for the door, saying that I was not at all comfortable with that. “If we’re not going to watch the film, I really should head back to school,” I said.
She recounts another dinner where Weinstein, after suggesting that they finish the meal in his room, told her that to be a success she would have to “do this sort of thing.”
Her response got her a cab ride out of there:
“With all due respect, I would not be able to sleep at night if I did what you are asking, so I must pass.”
Although Weinstein has issued a blanket denial saying that all of his sexual relationships were consensual, Nyong'o's is the first claim that he has responded to individually.