French actress Léa Seydoux has added her story to the growing chorus of women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual improprieties. Their stories range from groping and harassment to sexual assault and rape.
Seydoux penned an essay for the Guardian in which she details the alleged assault. According to the first-person account, Seydoux recalls meeting Weinstein in her native France during Paris Fashion Week. He invited her back to his hotel for a meeting. "All throughout the evening, he flirted and stared at me as if I was a piece of meat," she writes of the initial encounter, which she says took place in the hotel lobby. "He acted as if he were considering me for a role. But I knew that was bullshit."
The story gets worse. Weinstein and Seydoux headed upstairs to his room, along with an unidentified female assistant. Though he was leering at her, she writes that "it was hard to say no because he’s so powerful," a sentiment echoed by several other of Weinstein's accusers. According to Seydoux, Weinstein later assaulted her. "Soon, his assistant left and it was just the two of us. That’s the moment where he started losing control...he suddenly jumped on me and tried to kiss me. I had to defend myself. He’s big and fat, so I had to be forceful to resist him. I left his room, thoroughly disgusted."
Seydoux concludes that the "beauty diktats" in Hollywood contribute to a misogynistic culture that allows Weinstein's behaviour to flourish. "If you’re a woman working in the film industry, you have to fight because it is a very misogynistic world...[beauty standards present] an image of women that is bizarre – and one that ends up controlling women. You have to be desirable and loved. But not all desires have to be fulfilled, even though men in the industry have an expectation that theirs should be. I think – and hope – that we might finally see a change. Only truth and justice can bring us forward."
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.
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