Romola Garai is the latest in a long line of actresses to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment in an encounter she described as humiliating and ‘an abuse of power.’
The Atonement actress told the Guardian about an ‘audition’ she was taken to at Weinstein’s London hotel room where the then 18-year-old had to be ‘personally approved’ by him.
‘He answered the door in his bathrobe,’ she told the Guardian.
‘I felt violated by it, it has stayed very clearly in my memory.’
The British actress, who is now 35, said she’d already had a proper audition with him, but had to go for another meeting to be ‘approved’ by him.
Romola Garai is the latest in a long line of actresses to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment in an encounter she described as humiliating and ‘an abuse of power.’ She is pictured in 2006 at a movie premier in London
The Atonement actress told the Guardian about an ‘audition’ she was taken to at Weinstein’s London hotel room where the then 18-year-old had to be ‘personally approved’ by him. She is pictured in Atonement, which came out in 2007
The incident, she said, was indicative to his approach to women in the film industry – specifically his desire to put young actresses desperate for their big break into ‘humiliating situations,’ just because ‘he had the power to do it.’
Once she was in the hotel room she said the 65-year-old producer just sat in a chair and discussed the film with her before sending her on her way.
‘The transaction was just that I was there,’ she explained.
‘The point was that he could get a young woman to do that, that I didn’t have a choice, that it was humiliating for me and that he had the power. It was an abuse of power.’
Her accusation comes in a long line of harassment allegations spurred by a New York Times investigation published last week that said Weinstein has been sexually harassing women in Hollywood for more than 20 years.
Weinstein has been accused of reaching at least eight settlements with women he has sexually harassed.
Those women include Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, who have both been very public with their allegations against Weinstein – with McGowan even going so far as to call him a ‘rapist’ and a ‘monster’ on Twitter.
And their confidence has encouraged further women to come forward, including writer and artist Liza Campbell who claims Weinstein invited her to his hotel room for a bath, and TV reporter Lauren Sivan who said he masturbated in front of her.
Sivan, formerly a Fox News Reporter, claims that when she worked with the cable channel Long Island 12 a decade ago, Weinstein insisted she take a tour with him in Socialista, a club he part-owned.
She claims he took her downstairs to a kitchen and cleared it of staff and then tried to kiss her. When she refused his advance he said, ‘Well, can you just stand there and shut up’.
The movie mogul is then alleged to have masturbated in front of her and ejaculated into a nearby flower pot.
Sivan says she was trapped and intimidated and deeply shocked.
He has been accused of inviting women to his hotel room under the guise of work before greeting them naked and asking them to massage him or watch him in the shower.
Standing string: McGowan has been the most vocal since Thursday, despite receiving a settlement and therefore being unable to speak about her experience (McGowan and Weinstein above in 2005)
Heralding the brave: ‘The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes,’ added Streep, applauding their ‘brave voices’ (Ashley Judd above with Weinstein and Vince Vaughn in 1997, months after he harassed her inside a hotel room)
Support system: Judd began to thank those who had spoken up in support of her and McGowan over the weekend (above)
On Sunday night The Weinstein Company released a statement that he has been fired, effective immediately.
‘In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged int the past few days, the directors of the Weinstein Company – Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar – have determined an have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,’ the board wrote in a statement.
It was a sudden move for the board, which on Friday said Weinstein had taken an indefinite leave of absence.
Actors and actresses alike were condemned initially for their lack of condemnation of Weinstein, but have been coming forward to speak against his actions.
Meryl Streep, who once referred to the producer as ‘God’ referring to his work on the film The Iron Lady, called the allegations ‘disgraceful,’ and ‘appalling’.
Kate Winslet also came forward on Monday night to say she was aware of the stories and to applaud the bravery of his accusers for coming forward to share such difficult stories.
Speaking out: Meryl Streep has released a lengthy statement four days after a bombshell report detailed Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual harassment (pair above in 2012)
Kate Winslet also came forward on Monday night to say she was aware of the stories and to applaud the bravery of his accusers for coming forward to share such difficult stories. She’s pictured with him in 2004 at the Venice Film Festival
Questions remain about how the board was so in the dark given the number of settlements that have been paid out, with the first going back to an incident that happened in 1991 according to the Times.
Weinstein responded in a statement by saying that he was getting help, but then shortly after threatened to sue the paper for $50 million.
Board member Lance Maerov spoke to the The New York Times after the decision to terminate Weinstein on Sunday and that said that the executive had also violated the company’s code of conduct in the past week.
He did not offer any additional details.
Maerov also revealed that there was much concern after Weinstein and his attorney Lisa Bloom met with the board on Thursday night, during which time the layer told the group that they could expect ‘more and different reporting’ that included ‘photos of several of the accusers in very friendly poses with Harvey after his alleged misconduct.’
That same night a handout photo of Weinstein and a smiling Judd appeared in the New York Post alongside a statement from the Oscar-winning producer.
Dark: Just after Weinstein (pictured on Thursday night) was accused of sexually harassing multiple female employees and movie stars a number of actresses came out to share their experience with the man
Harvey Weinstein is pictured here leaving his Manhattan home on Friday after taking a leave of absence from his own firm
‘This is not the time for Harvey or TWC to appear defiant or indignant,’ wrote Maerov in an email to Bloom.
‘It is time to repair, heal, accept responsibility and recover.’
He also wrote that Bloom had a potential conflict of interest given that Weinstein had agreed to develop a book she wrote into a series.
In another email to Bloom, Harvey’s brother and partner Bob wrote: ‘Perhaps, Harvey as he stated in the NY Times, to the world, should get professional help for a problem that really exists.’
On Friday, one-third of the nine-man board resigned in protest, 24-hours after the sexual harassment report threw the firm into chaos.
The company also stated that they were launching an internal probe into the claims against their disgraced co-founder.