British actress Romola Garai said she felt “violated” following a meeting with Harvey Weinstein in his London hotel room when she was 18 in which he was in a bathrobe, the Guardian newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Garai, best known for her role in “Atonement”, said she had already been hired for a part but was told to audition privately with the Hollywood mogul because “you had to be personally approved by him.”
“Like every other woman in the industry, I’ve had an ‘audition’ with Harvey Weinstein,” she told the paper.
“So I had to go to his hotel room in the Savoy and he answered the door in his bathrobe. I was only 18. I felt violated by it,” the 35-year-old actress added.
Garai said that once she was in the room the two had a brief discussion about film but she felt “belittled” by his “abuse of power.”
“The point was that he could get a young woman to do that, that I didn’t have a choice, that it was humiliating for me and that he had the power.”
She said she had not previously raised the incident because film business insiders would be “shocked I even thought it was an issue.”
Weinstein was fired on Sunday from his own film studio, three days after a bombshell New York Times report alleged that the Oscar-winning executive producer behind such hits as “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist” had preyed on young women hoping to break into the industry.
Weinstein’s accusers — who reportedly include celebrities such as Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd — say the 65-year-old tycoon had promised to help advance their careers in exchange for sexual favours, pressuring them to massage him and watch him naked.
Weinstein has expressed regret for his behaviour towards women, saying: “I own my mistakes.”
Movie legends Meryl Streep and Judi Dench led a chorus of outrage including from actors Seth Rogan, Lena Dunham and Patricia Arquette, director James Gunn and fellow producer Judd Apatow.