Back in November, Uma Thurman took to Instagram to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, adding a cryptic message directed to Harvey Weinstein. “(Except you Harvey, and all your wicked conspirators – I’m glad it’s going slowly – you don’t deserve a bullet) -stay tuned,” she wrote.
Thurman is finally opening up about Weinstein in a bombshell interview with the New York Times, detailing her complicated relationship with the producer of her hits “Pulp Fiction” and “Kill Bill” that resulted in Weinstein allegedly sexually assaulting her.
“I knew him pretty well before he attacked me,” Thurman tells the Times. “He used to spend hours talking to me about material and complimenting my mind and validating me. It possibly made me overlook warning signs. This was my champion. I was never any kind of studio darling. He had a chokehold on the type of films and directors that were right for me.”
As Thurman recalls, the first red flag came during a script meeting in Weinstein’s hotel room in Paris when Weinstein emerged wearing a bathrobe.
“I didn’t feel threatened,” remembers Thurman. “I thought he was being super idiosyncratic, like this was your kooky, eccentric uncle.”
Weinstein instructed her to follow him while they continued their discussion, ultimately ending up in a steam room. “And I was standing there in my full black leather outfit — boots, pants, jacket. And it was so hot and I said, ‘This is ridiculous, what are you doing?’ And he was getting very flustered and mad and he jumped up and ran out.”
Thurman alleges that Weinstein’s first “attack” occurred not long after, in Weinstein’s hotel suite in London.
“It was such a bat to the head,” says Thurman. “He pushed me down. He tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things. But he didn’t actually put his back into it and force me. You’re like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard. I was doing anything I could to get the train back on the track. My track. Not his track.”
The next day, she says that Weinstein sent her a “vulgar bunch of roses” along with a note. “And I opened the note like it was a soiled diaper and it just said, ‘You have great instincts.’” After that, she says that Weinstein’s assistants began calling her to talk about projects.
Thinking she could confront Weinstein and clear the air, she asked him to meet her in the bar of his hotel, but Weinstein’s assistants pressured her to meet him in his room instead. She eventually agreed, while friend Ilona Herman waited in the lobby.
After the assistants exited and Thurman was alone with Weinstein in his room, she says she issued a warning. “If you do what you did to me to other people you will lose your career, your reputation and your family, I promise you,” she recalls telling him (a rep for Weinstein agreed that “she very well could have said this”).
Waiting downstairs, Herman tells the Times she was becoming nervous. “It seemed to take forever,” says Herman, recalling that eventually the elevator doors opened and Thurman walked out. “She was very disheveled and so upset and had this blank look,” Herman says. “Her eyes were crazy and she was totally out of control. I shovelled her into the taxi and we went home to my house. She was really shaking.”
When the shaken actress was finally able to talk, says Herman, she revealed that Weinstein had threatened to destroy her career.
Weinstein’s rep, however, denies that he ever threatened Thurman in that manner, claiming that until the incident in the steam room they had shared “a flirtatious and fun working relationship.”
“Mr. Weinstein acknowledges making a pass at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals in Paris,” reads a statement from the rep. “He immediately apologized.”
While Thurman’s account of her experiences with Weinstein are shocking, her allegations about abusive behaviour from Quentin Tarantino on the set of “Kill Bill” are nothing less than incendiary, with Thurman alleging that director forced to do her own driving in a dangerous stunt that resulted in a serious crash. She insisted she wasn’t comfortable driving the car in the scene.
“Quentin came in my trailer and didn’t like to hear no, like any director,” she says. “He was furious because I’d cost them a lot of time. But I was scared. He said: ‘I promise you the car is fine. It’s a straight piece of road.’”
According to Thurman, the director told her: “Hit 40 miles per hour or your hair won’t blow the right way and I’ll make you do it again.” However, Thurman says the car “was a deathbox that I was in. The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road.” (Tarantino, reports the Times, did not respond to requests for comment.)
During filming of the scene, the car went off the road and crashed. The accident, Thurman says, left her with a “permanently damaged neck” and “screwed-up knees.”
“I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again,’” she says. “When I came back from the hospital in a neck brace with my knees damaged and a large massive egg on my head and a concussion, I wanted to see the car and I was very upset. Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me. And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn’t feel he had tried to kill me.”
Thurman shared footage of the crash with the Times:
Thurman’s interview has been sending shockwaves throughout social media, with numerous people offering their comments on Twitter:
Following publication of Thurman’s interview with the Times, a rep for Weinstein issued a statement to ET Canada.
“We have pulled a number of images that demonstrate the strong relationship Mr. Weinstein and Ms. Thurman had had over the years and we wish the New York Times would have published them,” reads the statement, which was accompanied by a series of photos (a few of which can be seen below).
“Mr. Weinstein acknowledges making an awkward pass 25 years ago at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals, after a flirtatious exchange in Paris, for which he immediately apologized and deeply regrets. However, her claims about being physically assaulted are untrue. And this is the first time we have heard those details,” the statement continues.
“There was no physical contact during Mr. Weinstein’s awkward pass and Mr. Weinstein is saddened and puzzled as to ‘why’ Ms. Thurman, someone he considers a colleague and a friend, waited 25 years to make these allegations public, noting that he and Ms. Thurman have shared a very close and mutually beneficial working relationship where they have made several very successful film projects together,” the statement adds.
“This is the first time we are hearing that she considered Mr. Weinstein an enemy and the pictures of their history tell a completely different story,” the statement concludes. “There will be a more detailed response later from Mr. Weinstein’s attorney, Ben Brafman.”