Salma Hayek, who accused disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, says Weinstein only specifically responded to the claims made by non-white accusers.
“He only responded to two women, two women of color,” Hayek said Sunday about Weinstein’s denial of allegations brought by her and fellow actress Lupita Nyong’o.
“It was a strategy by the lawyers, because we are the easiest to get discredited,” Hayek added as she discussed the issue of sexual harassment in Hollywood during a Q&A with Variety at the Cannes Film Festival.
Hayek first went public with her allegations against Weinstein in December 2017, in a guest column published in The New York Times.
She called him a “monster,” and said he repeatedly sexually harassed her during the making of their Oscar-winning 2002 film Frida.
Hayek wrote in the column that she told Weinstein: “No to me taking a shower with him. No to letting him watch me take a shower. No to letting him give me a massage. No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage. No to letting him give me oral sex. No to my getting naked with another woman. No, no, no, no, no.”
She also alleged that the movie mogul retaliated by telling her: “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”
A rep for Weinstein released a statement calling Hayek a “first-class actress,” but said her claims were “not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired.”
Nyong’o also spoke out about alleged “inappropriate” interactions with Weinstein.
Weinstein denied her claims as well.
The film producer has been accused of harassment and sexual misconduct by dozens of women including actresses Rose McGowan, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Weinstein issued a blanket denial of the other women’s allegations, but he specifically responded to the claims made by Nyong’o and Hayek.
“It is a well-known fact, if you are a woman of color, people believe what you say less,” Hayek said Sunday. “So he went attacking the two women of color, in hopes that if he could discredit us, he could then maybe discredit the rest.”