Nyong'o opened up about her previous interactions with Weinstein in a new piece in the New York Times, describing her very first meeting with Weinstein all the way to her last. It's worth reading in its entirety, but there are several parts we will highlight here.
Nyong'o's piece illustrates just how manipulative Weinstein could be, noting how from meeting to meeting his demeanor and behavior could change in an instant depending on what he wanted at the time. Before she met him she asked others at her table about Weinstein, to which she heard "he can be a bully." That permeated the interactions between Nyong'o and Weinstein, with him attempting to assert power over minuscule things like her drink order to aggressive moments like when the
A pattern has developed as more stories come to light, and Nyongo's experience fits right in. Weinstein invited Nyong'o to his residence to view a movie with his family, but he had ulterior motives.
"Harvey led me into a bedroom — his bedroom — and announced that he wanted to give me a
The panic caused Nyong'o to offer him a
That's bad enough, but Weinstein approached her once more. After 12 Years a Slave, Weinstein apologized to her and said he was sorry for his bad behavior. After a meeting that was the polar opposite of her last experience, she was invited to a screening of "W.E." Everyone was set to have drinks after the show, but it became evident that no one else was coming and it would just be her and Weinstein.
This meeting went south quickly, as again he attempted to bully her into coming up to a private room where they could finish dinner. Weinstein told Nyong'o she "had to be willing to do this sort of thing" if she wanted to be an actress. She declined, saying "With all due respect, I would not be able to sleep at night if I did what you are asking, so I must pass."
After that Nyong'o says his whole disposition changed, and she left soon after.
Nyong'o wants her story to help combat "the shame we go through that keeps us isolated and allows for harm to continue to be done." She also stresses the time for silence is over. "Now that we are speaking, let us never shut up about this kind of thing," Nyong'o said. "I speak up to make certain that this is not the kind of misconduct that deserves a second chance. I speak up to contribute to the end of the conspiracy of silence."