In October 2017, in the wake of previous allegations reported in the New York Times, Lupita Nyong'o accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. (He has denied her allegations.) Now, in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nyong'o has explained why she came forward and how that process occurred. Her explanation for what went into her own NYT piece adds a look at another side of the way allegations like these are made — the preparation before an accuser speaks out.
Nyong'o explained to THR that she labored over her NYT piece and said that she "couldn't sleep" because she had to speak out against Weinstein. "That was just what I felt I needed to do, quite viscerally. I couldn't sleep. I needed to get it out." She said that it took "several days" to craft the article and that she worked alone at her computer as she wrote about her alleged experience. She said it even brought her closer to her mother. "I had to talk to her about it because it was something that we hadn't talked about," she said. "She was really moved and very supportive."
The actor's recent comments bring a new light to her accusations against Weinstein. A lot went into her account about the alleged situation and, obviously, she put so much care into the formation of her piece. In her Hollywood Reporter interview, she also stated that she couldn't be silent any longer and felt an intense urge to speak out. She said, "I felt uncomfortable in my silence, and I wanted to liberate myself from it and contribute to the discussion".
In her article for the New York Times Nyong'o detailed the alleged sexual harassment she claims she experienced from Weinstein. She claims that she was invited to a private film screening at Weinstein's home, where she says his children were, when she was just starting out as an actor. She alleged that once she got to his home, he led her to his bedroom and offered to give her a massage. In her account, she wrote, "I thought he was joking at first. He was not," and continued, "For the first time since I met him, I felt unsafe."
Nyong'o then alleges that Weinstein said he want to remove his pants, at which point she left. She also alleged that he acted inappropriately at a dinner at a later date. At the dinner, she claims that he told her, "Let's cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal." She claims that she declined and her told her she could leave.
In response to Nyong'o's accusations, Weinstein's representative released a statement to Bustle:
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."
Nyong'o is remaining positive after sharing her allegations. She's using her voice and has taken on a role within the Time's Up movement, as noted in her Hollywood Reporter interview. The actor, along with 300 Hollywood women, announced the initiative, which helps to fight sexual harassment within all industries and for all victims, together on January 1, 2018.
She's tweeted about the movement and has changed her Twitter bio picture to the Time's Up logo. On Jan. 1, she wrote, "#TIMES UP on the abuse of power". Nyong'o has spoken out about the new initiative multiple times on the social media site and attended the Women's March in A Time's Up T-shirt on Jan. 20.
It looks like Nyong'o isn't going to let anything get in the way of her speaking out on the issues that she cares about. Her desire to stand up for what's right is sure to be an inspiration to so many who look up to the talented and passionate actor.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.