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Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o Speaks Out Against Harvey Weinstein

"I have felt sick in the pit of my stomach."

10/20/2017 11:35 EDT | Updated 10/20/2017 12:03 EDT
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Lupita Nyong'o.

Lupita Nyong'o is the latest Hollywood star to come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Harvey Weinstein.

In an op-ed for the New York Times published Oct. 19, the actress, 34, claims that the producer told her "not to be so naive" and that she needed to be "willing to do this sort of thing" when she declined to go to his private room during a dinner meeting.

Previously on HuffPost:

Nyong'o, who won an Oscar in 2014 for her supporting role in "12 Years a Slave," details several inappropriate encounters with Weinstein that she alleges occurred starting while she was a drama student at Yale University.

I have not been able to avoid the memories resurfacing. I have felt sick in the pit of my stomach.Lupita Nyong'o

In the op-ed, Nyong'o explains that she'd initially blamed herself and felt "very much alone" at the time of her own experiences with Weinstein.

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Lupita Nyong'o attending the Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story screening at the Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Street, London.

"I had shelved my experience with Harvey far in the recesses of my mind, joining in the conspiracy of silence that has allowed this predator to prowl for so many years," Nyong'o writes.

"But now that this is being discussed openly, I have not been able to avoid the memories resurfacing. I have felt sick in the pit of my stomach."

Weinstein has faced an onslaught of allegations in recent weeks, including disturbing details from Canadian star Sarah Polley and Montreal actress Erika Rosenbaum, in a saga that first broke in the Times and continued in a detailed piece from Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker.

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
Canadian fillmmaker Sarah Polley alleges that Harvey Weinstein once suggested they have a "close relationship" in order to advance her career.

Since then, Weinstein, a Hollywood mogul, has been kicked out of the Motion Picture Academy, which produces the Oscars; resigned from The Weinstein Company's board; and was voted to be expelled from the Producers Guild of America.

The allegations (more than 50 women have spoken out as of press time), against him kick-started a second iteration of the viral social media #MeToo campaign that encouraged women to speak out about their own experiences with sexual assault and harassment.

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Harvey Weinstein picking with the award for International Film of the Year for Lion at the Evening Standard Film Awards at Claridge's, Brook Street, London.

Nyong'o says she first met Weinstein at an awards ceremony in Berlin in 2011, when she was still a student at the Yale School of Drama. Another producer a woman warned Nyong'o that Weinstein "can be a bully."

In another encounter, Nyong'o says Weinstein invited her to lunch and tried to force her to drink alcohol despite her protestations. Later that day, at a private film screening at his house, Nyong'o claims Weinstein invited her to his bedroom and tried to give her a massage.

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Lupita Nyong'o.

She explains: "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 alleges that when Weinstein tried to take off his pants, she left the room.

Let's cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal.

After a few more professional encounters where Nyong'o felt more confident that she'd "established boundaries," she says she accepted a dinner invitation with Weinstein.

"Let's cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal," she claims he said to her.

Weinstein then allegedly called her "naive" and told her that she had to be "willing to do this sort of thing" if she wanted to be an actress. When she refused to go upstairs with him, Nyong'o says they parted ways.

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Lupita Nyong'o holds her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "12 Years a Slave" at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014.

In 2013, at a screening for "12 Years A Slave," Weinstein allegedly apologized to Nyong'o and promised to respect her going forward.

"I said thank you and left it at that. But I made a quiet promise to myself to never ever work with Harvey Weinstein," she writes.

No allegations against Weinstein have been proven in court. Through a spokesperson, he has denied any allegations of non-consensual contact.

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