Claire Forlani, known for her work in Mallrats and Meet Joe Black, detailed her experience with "master manipulator" Weinstein on her Twitter account on Thursday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Forlani's account comes just days after The New Yorker published a damning exposé on Weinstein. In her statement on Twitter, she wrote that she initially planned to participate in the story but decided not to after consulting with men close to her who "advised me not to speak." But now, the actress is ready to share her story on her own terms.
Forlani, who was 25 at the time, said she "escaped five times" while meeting with Weinstein at various locations, including the Peninsula Hotel.
"You see, nothing happened to me with Harvey — by that I mean, I escaped 5 times," she wrote. "I had two Peninsula Hotel meetings in the evening with Harvey and all I remember was I ducked, dived and ultimately got out of there without getting slobbered over, well just a bit. Yes, massage was suggested. The three dinners with Harvey I don’t really remember the time period, I was 25. I remember him telling me all the actresses who had slept with him and what he had done for them. I wasn’t drinking the cool aid [sic], I knew Harvey was a master manipulator."
She then stated that Weinstein told her "his pilot knew to be on standby because he could never get me to sleep with him." In response, she said she tried to make a joke and move on, just as she had done countless times before with other predatory men.
"I always though I was a pro at handling these guys, I'd had a fair amount of experience," she wrote. "Sometimes I got angry, really angry. I wondered why I had Prey stamped on my forehead but this I kept to myself. This sort of thing was something my generation dealt with, all the time."
Forlani recalled that she had been experiencing sexual harassment since the age of 14, when two older men, who were friends with her parents, "were deeply inappropriate." Instances of harassment continued as she modeled and moved onto the film industry.
"For us it was something you weren't supposed to make a big deal out of; it was sadly our normal," she wrote.
But those actions weren't normal, and when women started speaking out against such behavior, Forlani said she found herself "in awe," but also scared because "I was punished when I was brave."
"I remember when Thandie Newton spoke out about a director that I had also had a disgusting experience with and I felt scared even reading what she said publicly about him, thinking, 'Damn, she’s gonna get crucified for that,'" she wrote. "Yet I was in awe for her bravery and balls, she was a female crusader, modern suffragette and I loved her for it. But I also knew I didn’t have those balls, too scared of the repercussions This was because when you did react or tell a man to shove it, there were always repercussions."
Now, Forlani is hoping that "these brave women" will inspire "a safe and respectful work environment for the generation coming up."
"I feel excited, I really do, that this could be a thing of the past, that these men will now not feel they have carte blanche to intimidate, sexualize, bully and ultimately hurt women or girls," she wrote. "I'm not naïve enough to believe it can be eradicated but it can be a different time and that after all this pain, suffering and fear, it can be a new time in this business. I am proud of my community. I love what I do. There are so many beautiful people in this business. So may the bad seeds please leave the stage?"
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).