Uma Thurman Says Harvey Weinstein Assaulted Her Years Ago, He Denies It

Actress breaks her silence about her own alleged attack by the producer, who has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing dozens of women

By Corinne Heller Feb 03, 2018 10:41 PMTags
Uma Thurman, Harvey WeinsteinGetty Images

Uma Thurman says Harvey Weinstein attacked her years ago, breaking her silence about her past experience with the producer, with whom she worked on many films.

The producer, who is in therapy in Arizona after being accused months ago of sexual misconduct by dozens of women, denies physically assaulting the Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill actress.

Last October, soon after a first wave of sexual assault and harassment allegations were made against Weinstein, Thurman was asked about him in an Access Hollywood interview and signaled that she would be ready to talk about him after she feels "less angry." In November, she took to Instagram to wish her fans a happy Thanksgiving, adding, "Except you Harvey, and all your wicked conspirators. I'm glad it's going slowly. You don't deserve a bullet."

In an interview with the New York Times, published on Saturday, Thurman said Weinstein attacked her more than a decade ago at his suite at the Savoy Hotel in London.

"He pushed me down. He tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things. But he didn't actually put his back into it and force me," she said. "You're like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard. I was doing anything I could to get the train back on the track. My track. Not his track." 

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Thurman said that before the incident, the two had had a meeting at his hotel room in Paris, where he allegedly wore a bathrobe and led her to a steam room. She said she wore a "full black leather outfit — boots, pants, jacket" and told him, "This is ridiculous, what are you doing?" She said he got "very flustered and mad and he jumped up and ran out."

Weinstein had months ago denied allegations of nonconsensual sex and apologized for past behavior towards "colleagues." In response to Thurman's comments, his rep said in a statement to E! News on Saturday that Weinstein "acknowledges making an awkward pass 25 years ago at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals, after a flirtatious exchange in Paris, for which he immediately apologized and deeply regrets. However, her claims about being physically assaulted are untrue."

"And this is the first time we have heard those details," the rep said. "There was no physical contact during Mr. Weinstein's awkward pass and Mr. Weinstein is saddened and puzzled as to 'why' Ms. Thurman, someone he considers a colleague and a friend, waited 25 years to make these allegations public, noting that he and Ms. Thurman have shared a very close and mutually beneficial working relationship where they have made several very successful film projects together."

The two worked together on the 1994 film Pulp Fiction, then a decade later on Kill Bill: Vol 1 and Kill Bill: Vol 2, three of her most successful movies. Weinstein also co-produced the films BurntBeautiful Girls and A Month by the Lake, which also starred Thurman.

Thurman said that after Weinstein's alleged attack, he sent her yellow roses, which came with a note that read, "You have great instincts," and that his assistants then started calling again to talk about projects. She said she later confronted him and told him, "If you do what you did to me to other people you will lose your career, your reputation and your family, I promise you."

A rep for Weinstein told the New York Times that Thurman "very well could have said this." The actress' friend told the newspaper that Thurman said that during that encounter, Weinstein had threatened to derail her career. The producer's rep said he denies threatening Thurman's prospects and said he thinks that she is "a brilliant actress." He also acknowledged her account of the episodes but said that up until the steam room incident in Paris, they had had "a flirtatious and fun working relationship," the New York Times said. 

Thurman told the New York Times that she had told Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill director Quentin Tarantino about her encounter with Weinstein in London and that at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, the director confronted Weinstein. Tarantino has not commented.

The actress said that later in the day, Weinstein apologized to her.

"At some point, his eyes changed and he went from aggressive to ashamed," she said. "I just walked away stunned, like 'O.K., well there's my half-assed apology.'"

Weinstein confirmed to the New York Times that he apologized to Thurman. She told the newspaper, "His therapy must be working."

"I am one of the reasons that a young girl would walk into his room alone, the way I did," Thurman said. "Quentin used Harvey as the executive producer of Kill Bill, a movie that symbolizes female empowerment. And all these lambs walked into slaughter because they were convinced nobody rises to such a position who would do something illegal to you, but they do."

Also on Saturday, Deadline reported that U.K. authorities received two new formal sexual assault complaints against Weinstein from a new victim and that nine in total have made claims against him in recent months. Weinstein, who has not been charged with a crime anywhere, has not commented. London Police confirmed to E! News the allegations, but did not identify Weinstein as the man accused. 

Also in her interview, Thurman talked about her longtime fight with Tarantino.

She recalled being injured in a Kill Bill car stunt, which she said the director pressured her to perform herself. She said she was left with a "permanently damaged neck" and "screwed-up knees."

"Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me," she said. "And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn't feel he had tried to kill me."

She also said that while working on Kill Bill, Tarantino was the one who spat in her face in a scene where actor Michael Madsen is seen doing it, and also choked her with a chain in a scene where a teenager is seen doing it.

Tarantino did not respond to requests for comment.

—Reporting by Holly Passalaqua