Still the list of women grows
I was 17 when he met me in his bathrobe, says Kate Beckinsale
KATE Beckinsale has revealed that she turned down advances from Harvey Weinstein when she was 17 by telling him she had school in the morning.
The British actress, 44, wrote on Instagram that he invited her to his room in the Savoy Hotel in London, where he stood in his bath robe.
She declined his offer to stay and have some alcohol – which he made despite knowing she was underage.
Miss Beckinsale said that she had to say no to him ‘many times’ more over the years – in relation to film roles – and that it ‘undoubtedly harmed my career’. She said Weinstein would angrily scream at her in response to the rejections and call her a ‘ **** ’.
Last night it emerged that TV presenter Myleene Klass also turned down a sex contract from Weinstein when he propositioned her at a film festival lunch in Cannes in 2010.
Miss Beckinsale wrote a lengthy Instagram post yesterday in which she said Hollywood needed to change because women were being used as ‘sexual cannon fodder’.
She wrote: ‘I was called to meet Harvey Weinstein at the Savoy Hotel when I was 17. I assumed it would be in a conference room which was very common. When I arrived, reception told me to go to his room. He opened the door in his bathrobe.
‘I was incredibly naive and young and it did not cross my mind that this older, unattractive man would expect me to have any sexual inter- est in him. After declining alcohol and announcing that I had school in the morning I left, uneasy but unscathed. A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting. I realised he couldn’t remember if he had assaulted me or not.’
Miss Beckinsale said that she tried to draw up boundaries with Weinstein and ‘said no to him professionally many times over the years’.
She said: ‘Some of which ended up with him screaming at me calling me a c*** and making threats, some of which made him laughingly tell people “oh Kate lives to say no to me”.
‘It speaks to the status quo in this business that I was aware that standing up for myself and saying no to things, while it did allow me to feel uncompromised in myself, undoubtedly harmed my career and was never something I felt supported by anyone other than my family.’
Miss Beckinsale said that Weinstein was ‘an emblem of a system that is sick, and that we have work to do’.
At the time of the incident Miss Beckinsale was a sixth former at the fee-paying Godolphin and Latymer School in Hammersmith, West London. She has acting in her genes as she is the daughter of Richard Beckinsale, who played Lennie Godber in Porridge and Alan Moore in Rising Damp. He died of a heart attack in 1979 when he was 31. Kate was only five at the time. Her mother is Judy Loe, who has acted in various TV programmes from Z-Cars to Casualty.
The young Kate also had a few acting roles on TV, but her entry into films was delayed – despite the attentions of film moguls – as she studied French and Russian Literature at Oxford University.
And despite her claims that her career suffered because she rejected Weinstein’s requests to work for him, she has starred in a host of big budget Hollywood films, including Pearl Harbor and the Underworld vampire films.
She has a daughter from her eight-year relationship with the actor Michael Sheen, and later married her Underworld director Len Wiseman. The couple separated two years ago.
÷Emma Thompson labelled Weinstein a ‘predator’ as she compared allegations around the film producer to the Jimmy Savile scandal.
She said Weinstein was ‘at the top of a very particular iceberg’ that makes women victims of ‘harassment and belittling’ in all walks of life.
Thompson threatened to walk off the film Brideshead Revisited after Weinstein called her co-star Hayley Atwell a ‘fat pig’. Last night she told BBC Newsnight: ‘He’s an actual predator, he’s dangerous and what he’s done and what he’s doing is criminal.’ Asked if there were others in Hollywood like Weinstein, she said: ‘Of course, many, many...I spent my 20s trying to keep old men’s tongues out of my mouth.’
‘Emblem of a system that is sick’
Predator and prey: Kate Beckinsale with Harvey Weinstein at a premiere in 2004 Inset: The picture of herself as a teenager which Kate posted alongside her Instagram revelations yesterday