The initial reports by the New York Times and The New Yorker detailing decades of sexual assault and rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein were damning not only for what they revealed, but who had revealed them. Prominent actresses like Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino, and Rose McGowan were among the first to speak out against the Hollywood mogul. And as soon as their stories gained traction, powerful leading ladies like Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie offered their own stories as well. On Thursday, Kate Beckinsale threw her name into the mix with a story about her Weinstein encounter at age 17.
In an Instagram post, Beckinsale recalled the time Weinstein called her to a meeting at London’s Savoy Hotel. She “assumed it would be in a conference room,” but was told “to go to his room” by the receptionist. That’s where Weinstein “opened the door in his bathrobe” and propositioned her. “I was incredibly naive and young and it did not cross my mind that this older, unattractive man would expect me to have any sexual interest in him,” she wrote. “After declining alcohol and announcing that I had school in the morning I left, uneasy but unscathed.”
Beckinsale would later work with Weinstein on Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator in 2004, albeit indirectly. Even so, the story of the producer’s attempt to assault the young actress didn’t end that day at the Savoy. “A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting. I realized he couldn’t remember if he had assaulted me or not,” wrote Beckinsale. “I said no to him professionally many times over the years — some of which ended up with him screaming at me calling me a cunt and making threats, some of which made him laughingly tell people oh ‘Kate lives to say no to me.'”
Her full story is printed below:
I was called to meet Harvey Weinstein at the Savoy Hotel when I was 17. I assumed it would be in a conference room which was very common.When I arrived ,reception told me to go to his room . He opened the door in his bathrobe . I was incredibly naive and young and it did not cross my mind that this older ,unattractive man would expect me to have any sexual interest in him .After declining alcohol and announcing that I had school in the morning I left ,uneasy but unscathed.A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting .I realized he couldn’t remember if he had assaulted me or not .I had what I thought were boundaries – I said no to him professionally many times over the years-some of which ended up with him screaming at me calling me a cunt and making threats, some of which made him laughingly tell people oh “Kate lives to say no to me .” It speaks to the status quo in this business that I was aware that standing up for myself and saying no to things,while it did allow me to feel uncompromised in myself,undoubtedly harmed my career and was never something I felt supported by anyone other than my family.I would like to applaud the women who have come forward , and to pledge that we can from this create a new paradigm where producers,managers,executives and assistants and everyone who has in the past shrugged and said ” well, that’s just Harvey /Mr X/insert name here ” will realize that we in numbers can affect real change.For every moment like this there have been thousands where a vulnerable person has confided outrageous unprofessional behavior and found they have no recourse, due to an atmosphere of fear that it seems almost everyone has been living in .I had a male friend who, based on my experience,warned a young actress who said she was going to dinner with Harvey to be careful. He received a phone call the next day saying he would never work in another Miramax film ;the girl was already sleeping with Harvey and had told him that my friend had warned her off.Let’s stop allowing our young women to be sexual cannon fodder,and let’s remember that Harvey is an emblem of a system that is sick,and that we have work to do.
If you are a victim or survivor of sexual assault, resources for support are available through RAINN‘s National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.