Disgraced Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein has been accused of being Tinseltown’s resident monster by more women than we can keep up with, but the latest accusation from Salma Hayek herself was one of the heaviest blows to date. But while Hayek’s article is one of the most damning accusations leveled against Weinstein, the former producer is claiming Hayek is a liar.
In Hayek’s NYT piece, she talks about her initial excitement about working on her dream film under Weinstein, but the dream quickly turned into a nightmare as Weinstein continuously asked her for sexual favors of various kinds, becoming enraged when she denied him and resulting in threats such as “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”
The nightmare culminated in Weinstein forcing Hayek to jump through hoops to get her film made, including a gratuitous sex scene for her movie, saying he’d pull it if she didn’t. Hayek did the scene, saying that the experience left her “emotionally distraught.”
However, Deadline Hollywood received a statement from Weinstein’s spokesperson that denies Hayek’s claims. According to Weinstein, the production of her movie, “Frida,” was supported wholeheartedly by Weinstein, and he did not “recall pressuring” Hayek to perform the sex scene:
Mr. Weinstein regards Salma Hayek as a first-class actress and cast her in several of his movies, among them “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” “Dogma,” and “Studio 54.” He was very proud of her Best Actress Academy Award nomination for “Frida” and continues to support her work.
While Jennifer Lopez was interested in playing Frida and at the time was a bigger star, Mr. Weinstein overruled other investors to back Salma as the lead. Miramax put up half of the money and all of the P&A; the budget was over 12 million. As in most collaborative projects, there was creative friction on “Frida,” but it served to drive the project to perfection. The movie opened in multiple theaters and was supported by a huge advertising campaign and an enormous Academy Awards budget.
Mr. Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female costar and he was not there for the filming. However, that was part of the story, as Frida Kahlo was bisexual and the more significant sex scene in the movie was choreographed by Ms. Hayek with Geoffrey Rush. The original uni-brow used was an issue because it diverted attention from the performances. All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired.
Ed Norton, who was Ms. Hayek’s boyfriend at the time, [worked with Mr. Weinstein on the rewrite of the script in Mexico] did a brilliant job of rewriting the script and Mr. Weinstein battled the WGA to get him a credit on the film. His effort was unsuccessful to everyone’s disappointment.
By Mr. Weinstein’s own admission, his boorish behavior following a screening of “Frida” was prompted by his disappointment in the cut of the movie—and a reason he took a firm hand in the final edit, alongside the very skilled director Julie Taymor.