Salma Hayek Claims 'Monster' Harvey Weinstein Threatened to Kill Her If She Refused His Demands
The actress detailed her experiences with Weinstein while making Frida.
This article originally appeared on People.com.
In an emotional New York Times op ed published Wednesday, the 51-year-old actress detailed her experiences with Weinstein through the course of the making of the 2002 Miramax Frida Kahlo biopic Frida — claiming, among other things, that he had once threatened to kill her when she refused his advances.
“I don’t think he hated anything more than the word ‘no,'” Hayek wrote. “And with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage.”
“The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, ‘I will kill you, don’t think I can’t,'” she claimed.
In a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday, a rep for Weinstein released a statement denying “all of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma” though the movie mogul admitted to “boorish behavior.”
But those alleged threats didn’t appear to stop Hayek, who said she would often tell Weinstein “no” when he allegedly made demands.
“No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with,” she wrote. “No to me taking a shower with him. No to letting him watch me take a shower. No to letting him give me a massage. No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage. No to letting him give me oral sex. No to my getting naked with another woman.”
“The absurdity of his demands went from getting a furious call in the middle of the night asking me to fire my agent for a fight he was having with him about a different movie with a different client to physically dragging me out of the opening gala of the Venice Film Festival, which was in honor of Frida, so I could hang out at his private party with him and some women I thought were models but I was told later were high-priced prostitutes,” she added.
There was one from Weinstein that the actress gave in to, though, she admitted.
Hayek said she caved into his alleged demand to do a sex scene with another woman with full-frontal nudity, though the decision wasn’t easy for her.
“He had been constantly asking for more skin, for more sex. … There was no room for negotiation,” she continued. “I had to say yes. By now so many years of my life had gone into this film. We were about five weeks into shooting, and I had convinced so many talented people to participate. How could I let their magnificent work go to waste? I had asked for so many favors, I felt an immense pressure to deliver and a deep sense of gratitude for all those who did believe in me and followed me into this madness.”
Hayek recalled filming the scene, saying that she had a “nervous breakdown” on set.
“My body began to shake uncontrollably, my breath was short and I began to cry and cry, unable to stop, as if I were throwing up tears,” she said. “Since those around me had no knowledge of my history of Harvey, they were very surprised by my struggle that morning. It was not because I would be naked with another woman. It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein. But I could not tell them then.”
Post-production for the film brought on more nightmares, Hayek said, with Weinstein often threatening to send the film straight to DVD. But after a sea of battles, Frida would get a theatrical release — and go on to gross $56 million worldwide and earn six Academy Award nominations, including a Best Actress one for Hayek. It ultimately won two Oscars.
Over 50 women have accused Weinstein, 65, of sexual misconduct since The New York Times and The New Yorker documented decades of alleged sexual misconduct and sexual assault involving a number of women in detailed articles in October.
In Weinstein’s full statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday, his rep denied Hayek’s allegations.
“Mr. Weinstein regards Salma Hayek as a first-class actress and cast her in several of his movies, among them “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” “Dogma,” and “Studio 54.” He was very proud of her Best Actress Academy Award nomination for “Frida” and continues to support her work,” the statement read.
“While Jennifer Lopez was interested in playing Frida and at the time was a bigger star, Mr. Weinstein overruled other investors to back Salma as the lead. Miramax put up half of the money and all of the P&A; the budget was over 12 million. As in most collaborative projects, there was creative friction on Frida, but it served to drive the project to perfection. The movie opened in multiple theaters and was supported by a huge advertising campaign and an enormous Academy Awards budget,” the statement continued.
“Mr. Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female costar and he was not there for the filming. However, that was part of the story, as Frida Kahlo was bisexual and the more significant sex scene in the movie was choreographed by Ms. Hayek with Geoffrey Rush. The original uni-brow used was an issue because it diverted attention from the performances. All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired,” Weinstein’s rep stated.
“Ed Norton, who was Ms. Hayek’s boyfriend at the time, [worked with Mr. Weinstein on the rewrite of the script in Mexico] did a brilliant job of rewriting the script and Mr. Weinstein battled the WGA to get him a credit on the film. His effort was unsuccessful to everyone’s disappointment,” the statement read.
Concluding, “By Mr. Weinstein’s own admission, his boorish behavior following a screening of Frida was prompted by his disappointment in the cut of the movie—and a reason he took a firm hand in the final edit, alongside the very skilled director Julie Taymor.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Weinstein’s attorneys, Berk and Brafman, previously said: “Mr. Weinstein has never at any time committed an act of sexual assault, and it is wrong and irresponsible to conflate claims of impolitic behavior or consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of criminal conduct. There is a wide canyon between mere allegation and truth, and we are confident that any sober calculation of the facts will prove no legal wrongdoing occurred.
“Nonetheless, to those offended by Mr. Weinstein’s behavior, he remains deeply apologetic.”