Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino penned an emotional letter detailing her decision to speak out against now-disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who she said sexually harassed her early in her career.
“We live in a culture in which sexual harassment and rape are rife, part of the power dynamic between men and women in the workplace,” Sorvino wrote in the piece, published by Time on Wednesday. “That my silence could be complicit in its continued thriving, possibly putting other young girls and women (and boys and men) in danger in Hollywood and beyond, was not something I could live with.”
Sorvino also spoke about her role in an expose on Weinstein’s actions, written by Ronan Farrow and published this week in The New Yorker. The story, which came days after a similar report in The New York Times, reports accounts from more than a dozen women who say Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them over a span of decades.
Sorvino said Weinstein sexually harassed her in 1995 at a film festival. She recalled that they were in a hotel room alone when the executive began “massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around.”
The “Mighty Aphrodite” actress said she told friends about the experience and confronted a female employee at Miramax, where Weinstein worked at the time. But she said the employee reacted “as though I was suddenly radioactive for daring to bring it up, which gave me little encouragement.” She didn’t go public with her allegations until this week.
“After some time I agreed to help Ronan, but I wasn’t sure I could put my name out there. I was terrified of retaliation, not only professional but the safety of my children,” Sorvino wrote. “Once I knew the story was going to print and it was irrevocable, an enormous peace washed over me ― a sense that finally I had taken my personal power back from a man who has made me scared every time I have seen him in public. My fear of what could be done to me has been outweighed by an overwhelming sense that I am living with full courage and honesty.”
Several other celebrities have come out with their own allegations against Weinstein, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Heather Graham. Longtime associates of Weinstein, including former President Barack Obama, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep, have moved to distance themselves from him. And, on Sunday, Weinstein was fired by his namesake company.
“I am here to encourage a mass speaking-out,” Sorvino concluded. “I will fight so that my daughters and sons will not have to endure what I and every other generation that has come before have had to.”
Read the full letter at Time here.