Scandal-plagued movie producer Harvey Weinstein refuted Lupita Nyong’o’s claims that he sexually harassed her during an incident at his Connecticut home six years ago.
Weinstein, who issued the denial through a rep, does not address any of the specific accusations Nyong’o made in her recent essay published by The New York Times, but argues that her story does not match up with his memory of that encounter.
“Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry,” the rep for Weinstein said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. “Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed.”
The Oscar-winning actress, 34, claims Weinstein invited her to his Westport home in 2011 — while she was a student at Yale — for a private movie screening, but brought her up to his bedroom just 15 minutes in.
He then asked her if he could give her a massage, making her feel “unsafe,” she recalled in her New York Times op-ed, which was published Thursday.
“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,” Nyong’o wrote.
Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault
The “12 Years a Slave” actress says Weinstein, 65, began to remove his pants during the massage, even though she asked him not to.
“He got up anyway to do so and I headed for the door, saying that I was not at all comfortable with that,” Nyong’o said.
The actress is one of over 40 women to accuse Weinstein of either sexually harassing or sexually assaulting them. Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd are among the other women who accused Weinstein of making an unwanted sexual advance early in their careers, while Rose McGowan and several others have accused Weinstein of rape.
He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.
Weinstein is currently being investigated by law enforcement authorities in New York, London and Los Angeles. He recently completed a week-long psychological therapy program in Arizona, according to TMZ.