Actress Uma Thurman has broken her silence to accuse disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.
In an explosive interview with The New York Times, Thurman, 47, said the incidents with Weinstein, 65, began after working on Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film Pulp Fiction.
“I knew him pretty well before he attacked me,” she recalled. “He used to spend hours talking to me about material and complimenting my mind and validating me.”
“It possibly made me overlook warning signs.”
However, Thurman went on to allege that the first odd encounter with Weinstein occurred shortly after they met. She claimed she went to a meeting in Weinstein’s Paris hotel room when he came out in a bathrobe and asked her to follow him into his steam room.
It wasn’t long after the Paris meeting that Weinstein allegedly assaulted Thurman in a London hotel room. The actress recalled how Weinstein pushed her down and got on top of her as she tried to escape.
“He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things. But he didn’t actually put his back into it and force me,” she said.
“You’re like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard. I was doing anything I could to get the train back on the track. My track. Not his track.”
Shortly after the alleged incident, Thurman claimed she went to confront Weinstein at a London hotel room. Weinstein allegedly threatened the actress, telling her that she would lose her career and family if she came forward.
Illona Herman, a makeup artist and friend who went with Thurman to the London hotel, recalled how “disheveled and so upset” Thurman looked when she exited the hotel room.
“Her eyes were crazy and she was totally out of control. I shoveled her into the taxi and we went home to my house. She was really shaking,” Herman told The Times.
Thurman also accused Tarantino, 54, of making a dangerous executive decision on the set of Kill Bill that left her with permanent injuries. The actress claimed Tarantino insisted she drive a car for a scene instead of a stunt driver. When she refused, Tarantino reportedly told her that he didn’t like to hear no.
Thurman recalled how the Kill Bill director instructed her to drive at 40 miles per hour in a car that she characterized as a “deathbox.” She claimed she sustained injuries to her neck and knees when the car barreled into a tree and she became briefly stuck under the large steering wheel.
The actress claimed she complained about the incident and requested to see the footage, which can be seen below. However, she was reportedly told by Miramax–the company Weinstein ran–that she would only be given access to the footage if she waived her right to sue. Thurman said she refused the offer but managed to get her hands on the footage–after 15 years’ of searching.
She also told The Times that Tarantino was originally dismissive when she confided in him about Weinstein’s alleged actions but that he later confronted the producer.
Thurman’s allegations come months after she told Access Hollywood that she wasn’t ready to speak about her experience with Hollywood’s leading producer.
“I don’t have a tidy sound bite for you. Because, I have learned I am not a child, and I have learned that when I’ve spoken in anger I usually regret the way I express myself,” she told reporters in October.
“So I’ve been waiting to feel less angry and when I am ready, I will say what I have to say.”
Following The Times exposé, Weinstein admitted to making an “awkward pass” to Thurman in Paris after misinterpreting her signals. The statement also included pictures of Weinstein and Thurman, which Weinstein’s camp said proves that their friendship remained strong over the years.
“[There] was no physical contact during Mr. Weinstein’s awkward pass and Mr. Weinstein is saddened and puzzled as to ‘why’ Ms. Thurman, someone he considers a colleague and a friend, waited 25 years to make these allegations public, noting that he and Ms. Thurman have shared a very close and mutually beneficial working relationship where they have made several very successful film projects together,” the statement said.
Weinstein is also reportedly exploring legal action against Thurman. In a statement obtained by Deadline, Weinstein’s attorney Ben Brafman said Saturday that they’re “carefully” looking at Thurman’s claims to The Times to determine “whether any legal action against her would be appropriate.”
[Featured Image: Uma Thurman, Harvey Weinstein/AP Photo/Evan Agostini (2)]