Actress Annabella Sciorra has alleged that Harvey Weinstein violently assaulted her and repeatedly stalked her at the height of her career.
The Jungle Fever and Copland actress spoke to Ronan Farrow for the New Yorker weeks after an earlier investigative report about Weinstein’s alleged pattern of sexually predatory behavior opened the floodgates about a long-held “open secret” in Hollywood.
When Farrow, who had reportedly been told about Weinstein’s alleged assault of Sciorra by multiple sources, initially contacted Sciorra for the New Yorker report, she denied that a rape had taken place and quickly ended the conversation. But the outpouring of Weinstein’s alleged victims– several dozen by now–prompted the Emmy-nominated actress to have a change of heart.
She spoke again to Farrow, admitting that she still lived in fear of Weinstein after the alleged assault which took place in the 90s.
“I really wanted to tell you,” she said of their earlier phone call.
“I was like, ‘This is the moment you’ve been waiting for your whole life.’ . . I really, really panicked.”
“I was shaking. And I just wanted to get off the phone.”
Sciorra says after a Miramax dinner in New York about 25 years ago, Weinstein offered to give the actress a ride home. Sciorra accepted, having taken rides from Weinstein in the past without incident. But after she got back to her apartment and was dressing for bed, she claims Weinstein came to her door, and when she opened it a crack, forced himself inside.
When he tried to back her into a bedroom, Sciorra says she firmly told him to leave her alone.
“This is not happening …You’ve got to go. You have to leave. Get out of my apartment.”
Instead, Weinstein allegedly became violent, forcing her onto a bed and penetrating her.
“I kicked and I yelled,” Sciorra said.
She claims he ejaculated on her nightgown before forcibly giving her oral sex. At that point, Sciorra says she began to shake violently.
“I think, in a way, that’s what made him leave, because it looked like I was having a seizure or something.”
Sciorra told only a few people about the alleged assault, and says she began to feel what she believed were repercussions immediately.
“From 1992, I didn’t work again until 1995,” the actress told the New Yorker.
“I just kept getting this pushback of ‘We heard you were difficult; we heard this or that.’ I think that that was the Harvey machine.”
The predatory behavior resumed, she said, after she began working again. She said that Weinstein would find out where she was staying and leave messages at her hotel, sometimes sending cars to pick her up, which she avoided.
Later, Sciorra starred in the Miramax project Copland, which she said she auditioned for before she knew Weinstein’s company was involved. (A Weinstein representative told the New Yorker that Miramax’s attachment was made clear on the original script.)
When the film went to Cannes, Sciorra was told her hotel room was right next to Weinstein’s. And one morning, she was awoken early by a knock on the door.
“There’s Harvey in his underwear, holding a bottle of baby oil in one hand and a tape, a movie, in the other,” she said.
“He was closing in really quickly, and I pressed all the call buttons for valet service and room service. I kept pressing all of them until someone showed up.”
More than 50 women have now come forward with accusations against Weinstein. In a statement to the New Yorker, a spokesperson denied the rape allegations.
“Mr. Weinstein unequivocally denies any allegations of non-consensual sex,” the spokesperson said.
[Feature image: Associated Press]