Shortly after the Harvey Weinstein scandal story broke back in October, actress Uma Thurman was asked on the red carpet at an event for her take. Thurman, who worked with Weinstein on Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” and “Kill Bill,” was literally holding in her rage and said she would talk about her Weinstein story at a later date when she had ‘calmed down’.
Now, a few months on, she’s finally spoken about it in a lengthy piece for The New York Times which should be read for the full context. Starting things off by stressing her former agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) was connected to Weinstein’s predatory behavior, she reveals the first ‘attack’ she suffered at Weinstein’s hands took place at a suite at the Savoy Hotel in London:
“He pushed me down. He tried to shove himself on me. 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. You’re like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard.”
The next day he sent her a huge box of roses. She thought she could confront him and clear it up and went with a friend to the Savoy. Thurman warned Weinstein: “If you do what you did to me to other people you will lose your career, your reputation and your family, I promise you.” She says he then turned the tables on her and threatened to derail her career, which he was in much more of a position to do.
After that she wouldn’t give him the time of day, but was under contract for several projects with his company. As a result, she could tolerate the mogul in supervised environments and thought she had “aged out of the window of his assault range”. She even managed to get a half-hearted apology out of him at one point in 2001.
Then came an incident at the very end of the “Kill Bill” shoot where she was driving a blue convertible on a sandy road at fairly high speed. She says she insisted that she didn’t feel comfortable operating the car, especially after she was advised it wasn’t working well and the seat wasn’t screwed down properly, but she was pushed to repeatedly anyway.
The result was a crash which left her in a neck brace and with a concussion and damaged knees, but easily could’ve been far worse. This ultimately led to a falling out between Tarantino and Thurman right before the promotional tour for the films:
“When they turned on me after the accident, I went from being a creative contributor and performer to being like a broken tool. Harvey assaulted me but that didn’t kill me. What really got me about the crash was that it was a cheap shot. I had been through so many rings of fire by that point.
I had really always felt a connection to the greater good in my work with Quentin and most of what I allowed to happen to me and what I participated in was kind of like a horrible mud wrestle with a very angry brother. But at least I had some say, you know?
Personally, it has taken me 47 years to stop calling people who are mean to you ‘in love’ with you. It took a long time because I think that as little girls we are conditioned to believe that cruelty and love somehow have a connection and that is like the sort of era that we need to evolve out of.”
Video of the crash can be seen in the article. Shot from a camera mounted on the rear of the car, Thurman tried to get her hands on for nearly fifteen years and its only in recent months that she was able to obtain it from Tarantino. Thurman also laments her inability to come forward with these traumatic allegations:
“The complicated feeling I have about Harvey is how bad I feel about all the women that were attacked after I was…I am one of the reasons that a young girl would walk into his room alone, the way I did. Quentin used Harvey as the executive producer of ‘Kill Bill,’ a movie that symbolizes female empowerment. And all these lambs walked into slaughter because they were convinced nobody rises to such a position who would do something illegal to you, but they do.”
Weinstein has long denied allegations of non-consensual sex and comments from a spokesman can be seen in the article.