French actress Lea Seydoux is adding her voice to the growing number of women speaking out against Harvey Weinstein. In an article for The Guardian, the former Bond Girl details an unwanted sexual encounter with the Hollywood producer which ended with the actress forced to defend herself against his advances.
“Blue Is The Warmest Colour” star Seydoux, 32, recounts accepting a meeting with Weinstein and his assistant for drinks. His true intentions became clear to the actress.
“All throughout the evening, he flirted and stared at me as if I was a piece of meat. He acted as if he were considering me for a role. But I knew that was bulls***,” she writes. “He had a lecherous look. He was using his power to get sex.”
The actress says he soon invited her up to his hotel room in what is becoming a familiar pattern. Too afraid to say “no” to him, his assistant soon left the two of them alone in his hotel room.
“It was hard to say no because he’s so powerful. All the girls are scared of him,” she says, recalling the moment before he made a move on her. “We were talking on the sofa when he suddenly jumped on me and tried to kiss me. I had to defend myself. He’s big and fat, so I had to be forceful to resist him. I left his room, thoroughly disgusted. I wasn’t afraid of him, though. Because I knew what kind of man he was all along.”
Seydoux says she’s been in the same room with Weinstein on a number of occasions since then, a byproduct of the film industry. But now, she says she is aware of what kind of man he truly is and the way he abuses his power in the film industry. “I’ve seen how he operates: the way he looks for an opening. The way he tests women to see what he can get away with,” she says, adding she has been at events where he has openly bragged about the number of actresses he’s had sex with. “He also doesn’t take no for an answer,” she adds, writing he also made misogynistic comments to her and told her to lose weight.
For Seydoux, it’s the way Hollywood has turned a blind eye that disturbs her the most.
“Everyone could see what he was doing,” “The Lobster” actress says. “That’s the most disgusting thing. Everyone knew what Harvey was up to and no one did anything. It’s unbelievable that he’s been able to act like this for decades and still keep his career. That’s only possible because he has a huge amount of power.”
The actress sees a correlation between the growing sexual harassment and abuse allegations against Weinstein and the gender inequality in the industry.
“If you’re a woman working in the film industry, you have to fight because it is a very misogynistic world. Why else are salaries so unequal? Why do men earn more than women? There is no reason for it to be that way,” she says. “Hollywood is incredibly demanding on women.”
She concludes her powerful statement with the hope that something positive may come of the Weinstein scandal. “Not all desires have to be fulfilled, even though men in the industry have an expectation that theirs should be. I think – and hope – that we might finally see a change,” she adds. “Only truth and justice can bring us forward.”