- Hollywood star Uma Thurman said during an interview with The New York Times that disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein made unwanted advances towards her on two separate occasions.
- Thurman said the incidents destroyed her relationship with Weinstein and director Quentin Tarantino, whom she accused of endangering her life after she told him about the Weinstein encounters.
- She also said that she had been raped at the age of 16 by an actor 20 years older than her.
Movie star Uma Thurman finally opened up on Saturday about her own experiences with sexual assault following the downfall of disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein last year and the subsequent #MeToo movement.
Thurman, who worked with Weinstein’s studio Miramax on seven films, has now gone public with her harrowing account, telling the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd that the producer sexually attacked her and threatened to derail her career. She also accused director Quentin Tarantino, who frequently worked with Weinstein, of endangering her life.
Thurman said she was first attacked when she was 16 years old by an actor 20 years her senior.
“I tried to say no, I cried, I did everything I could do,” Thurman recalled. “He told me the door was locked, but I never ran over and tried the knob. When I got home, I remember I stood in front of the mirror and I looked at my hands and I was so mad at them for not being bloody or bruised.”
She said the first time she had an unwanted experience with Weinstein occurred after the success of the movie, “Pulp Fiction.” Thurman said Weinstein, then a powerful and influential figure in Hollywood, invited her to his hotel room in Paris and led her into a hot sauna.
“I said, ‘This is ridiculous, what are you doing?'” she told Dowd. “And he was getting very flustered and mad and he jumped up and ran out.”
Thurman’s description of the alleged incident matches up with details other Weinstein accusers have provided, specifically that he would often invite actresses and models up to his hotel room, answer the door in his bathrobe, and then proceed to make unwanted advances toward them.
The actress said she had a second encounter with Weinstein at a hotel in London. She claimed the former producer pushed her down and attempted to “expose himself” to her. “He did all kinds of unpleasant things,” she said. “But he didn’t actually put his back into it and force me. You’re like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard.”
When she confronted him about the incident the next day, Thurman said Weinstein threatened to end her career. In a statement to The Times, Weinstein denied making the threat but acknowledged “making a pass at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals in Paris.”
Thurman made headlines when she told a reporter in November that she was was “waiting to feel less angry” to speak out.
She further hinted at her own experiences when she slammed Weinstein and his “wicked conspirators” in an Instagram post over Thanksgiving and suggested that she needed more time before opening up, telling observers to “stay tuned.”
Speaking to The Times this weekend, Thurman said she also told Hollywood heavyweight Quentin Tarantino about her encounter with Weinstein in London, and that Tarantino initially dismissed the issue before bringing it up with Weinstein in 2001. She added that Weinstein then approached her and attempted to deflect her accusations but ultimately apologised when she held firm.
But the actress said her negative relationship with Weinstein also affected her interactions with Tarantino. Thurman, whom Tarantino often called his muse at the time, frequently collaborated with both men to produce movies like the 1994 hit, “Pulp Fiction,” and both volumes of “Kill Bill” in the early 2000s.
She suggested during her interview that following the derailment of her relationship with Weinstein, Tarantino pressured her into driving a rickety blue convertible, which she called a “deathbox,” on the set of “Kill Bill.”
While filming, Thurman said she crashed the car into a tree and suffered lasting injuries that included permanent damage to her neck and her knees. When she accused Tarantino of trying to kill her, he forcefully denied it, she added.
When she asked to see footage of the crash, Thurman said the studio wouldn’t allow her to see it unless she signed a document releasing them from any liability. Tarantino gave her the video 15 years later, she said.
Thurman said the crash and its fallout affected her more deeply than the alleged encounters with Weinstein. “Harvey assaulted me but that didn’t kill me,” she said. “What really got me about the crash was that it was a cheap shot.”
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