Brit Marling is the latest woman to come forward with sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein. “The OA” actress recounted an experience to the Atlantic where Weinstein requested a meeting with her in 2014.
Like many Weinstein accusers, Marling said her meeting with the producer was relocated to his hotel suite.
“I, too, went to the meeting thinking that perhaps my entire life was about to change for the better,” she wrote. “I, too, was asked to meet him in a hotel bar. I, too, met a young, female assistant there who said the meeting had been moved upstairs to his suite because he was a very busy man. I, too, felt my guard go up but was calmed by the presence of another woman my age beside me.”
She continued, “I, too, felt terror in the pit of my stomach when that young woman left the room and I was suddenly alone with him. I, too, was asked if I wanted a massage, champagne, strawberries. I, too, sat in that chair paralyzed by mounting fear when he suggested we shower together. What could I do? How not to offend this man, this gatekeeper, who could anoint or destroy me?”
It was clear Weinstein was looking for “sex or some version of an erotic exchange,” Marling recalled. “I was able to gather myself together — a bundle of firing nerves, hands trembling, voice lost in my throat — and leave the room.”
After leaving his hotel room, she cried. “I wept because I had gone up the elevator when I knew better,” she said. “I wept because I had let him touch my shoulders. I wept because at other times in my life, under other circumstances, I had not been able to leave.”
Marling then explained why Weinstein was able to get away with this behavior for so many years.
“Weinstein was a gatekeeper who could give actresses a career that would sustain their lives and the livelihood of their families,” she said. “He could also give them fame, which is one of few ways for women to gain some semblance of power and voice inside a patriarchal world. They knew it. He knew it. Weinstein could also ensure that these women would never work again if they humiliated him. That’s not just artistic or emotional exile — that’s also economic exile.”