NEW YORK • Actress Salma Hayek on Wednesday became the latest woman to accuse producer Harvey Weinstein, alleging that he sexually harassed her, subjected her to escalating rage and once threatened to kill her.
"For years, he was my monster," the 51-year-old Mexican-born star wrote in an essay published in The New York Times, detailing the torturous production of the 2002 movie Frida that eventually earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for portraying Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.
A spokesman for Weinstein on Wednesday night disputed Hayek's account and called her allegations of sexual misconduct inaccurate.
More than 80 women have claimed that Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them over the past three decades.
Hayek said it became "my turn to say no", after she reached a deal for Weinstein to pay for the rights to Frida, her dream project.
"No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location," she wrote. "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."
His "Machiavellian rage" accompanied every refusal and once included "the terrifying words, 'I will kill you, don't think I can't'", she said.
Database of accused
Since producer Harvey Weinstein's unravelling, the list of cultural heavy-hitters accused of sexual misconduct has been growing at a dizzying clip. Enter Rotten Apples, a searchable database introduced on Tuesday that informs users which films or television shows are connected to those accused of sexual harassment or worse.
"It's an easy way to single out those individuals," said Mr Tal Wagman, an associate creative director at the advertising company Zambezi, based in Los Angeles, and one of the four creators of the website.
More women accuse rap mogul Russell Simmons
At least three women say they were raped by rap mogul and Def Jam Recordings co-founder Russell Simmons, who stepped down from his companies last month following abuse allegations, said The New York Times on Wednesday. Simmons, 60, denied the rape accusations - which date back to 1988 - and voiced support for the growing movement of women speaking out against abusive men.
Singer sued after speaking up
Former country music singer Katie Armiger has been thrown into a legal battle with her old record label, after she discussed her experience of sexual harassment in the music business on Fox News in October. Last month, Texas-based Cold River Records filed a lawsuit against Armiger, alleging her on-air commentary constituted a breach of a non-disparagement agreement included in the settlement of a previous 2016 lawsuit between the two parties. In response, she has filed her own countersuit against the label and its owner, Mr Pete O'Heeron.
Once filming began, he chided her for a role that showed no sex appeal and insisted that she add an unscripted sex scene with another woman, complete with full-front nudity, she said.
Hayek believed that complying was the only way she would get the movie made, and since she was already five weeks into production, she worried about disappointing all of the "talented people" she had convinced to join her project, including actress Ashley Judd, actor Edward Norton and director Julie Taymor.
For Hayek, the scene was a nightmare to shoot. She hyperventilated on the morning of filming and could not stop crying; the stress of it all made her vomit and she had to take a tranquilliser to get through it.
"Since those around me had no knowledge of my history of Harvey, they were very surprised by my struggle that morning... It was not because I would be naked with another woman. It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein."
Weinstein had a history of trying to shoehorn sex into his movies. While producing the 1993 romantic comedy The Night We Never Met, for example, he tried to bully director Warren Leight into getting an actress to "show tit", Leight recalled. He refused.
When Frida was finished, Weinstein allegedly said it was not good enough for theatrical release and threatened to send it straight to video. The biopic won two Oscars.
Weinstein's spokesman said in a statement: "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."
The statement added: "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."
It also said Miramax put up half of the budget of more than US$12 million, and noted that "creative fiction" on the film "served to drive the project to perfection".
"Mr Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female co-star and he was not there for the filming," the statement said.
"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."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, WASHINGTON POST, NYTIMES, REUTERS