Exclusive: in which he wore a dressing gown, British star adds describing encounter
Harvey Weinstein auditioned an 18-year-old Romola Garai while wearing only a dressing gown in an experience in the Savoy Hotel that the British celebrity described as humiliating and “an abuse of power”.
The actor who starred in Atonement and the BBC series The Hour, told the Guardian she was left feeling “violated”. It is the latest of allegations of behaviour by the Hollywood mogul.
“Like every other girl in the industry, I’ve had an ‘audition’ with Harvey Weinstein, where I had actually already had the bible however you had to be personally approved by him,” said Garai. “So I had to go to his hotel room in the Savoy, and he answered the door in his bathrobe. I was just 18. I felt violated by it, it’s stayed very clearly in my memory.”
Garai said the incident in London was indicative of Weinstein’s strategy to women in the film business, consistently putting young female actors, often desperate to get a rest in the industry, to “embarrassing situations” to prove “he had the power to take action”.
“The transaction was just I was there,” said Garai, who once she was in the hotel room with Weinstein just sat on a chair and had a brief talk about film. “The purpose was that he could find a young girl to do this, I did not have a decision, that it was embarrassing for me and that he had the energy. It was an abuse of power.”
In an expos in the New York Times a week, it was alleged that Weinstein, one of the most powerful people in Hollywood who produced films such as Pulp Fiction, had been plaguing women in the film industry for at least two decades.
It was alleged that he had attained at least eight settlements which he would invite women under the guise of work to his hotel room and then greet them nude or ask them to massage him or see him shower.
Among his accusers are the actors Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, and because they went public against Weinstein, others have come forward. The author and artist Liza Campbell stated Weinstein invited her and asked her to get in the tub with him, along with a US TV journalist stated Weinstein masturbated in front of her.
Weinstein had taken a leave of absence from his organization but on Sunday night the board declared he had been sacked after fresh allegations of misconduct. On Monday evening the NYT reported that, hours prior to the board announcement, Weinstein emailed associates in Hollywood requesting them to help stop him being terminated.
Actors including Meryl Streep and Judi Dench, the two of whom have starred in many Weinstein films, publicly condemned the producer, denying any knowledge of his activities, while Emma Thompson described him as a “predatory man”.
Streep added that the allegations had “appalled those people whose work [Weinstein] championed, and those whose great and worthy causes that he supported”.
Weinstein has expressed sorrow for his improper behaviour towards women stretching back years, saying “I own my errors”, but his attorneys say he also denies a number of the allegations made against him.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us