Salma Hayek was recently tied to the never-ending, heartbreaking news cycle about sexual predators when creepy photos resurfaced of director Oliver Stone acting inappropriately toward her on a red carpet. But Hayek herself didn't utter a single word about Harvey Weinstein and the nearly 60 women who have come forward against him with allegations of sexual assault and harassment – until now.
Hayek held nothing back in a recent essay for the New York Times titled "Harvey Weinstein is My Monster Too."
"Harvey Weinstein was a passionate cinephile, a risk taker, a patron of talent in film, a loving father and a monster," she began the piece. "For years, he was my monster."
Deciding to finally tell her story was no easy feat. “I didn’t consider my voice important, nor did I think it would make a difference,” Hayek wrote.
"I felt that by now nobody would care about my pain — maybe this was an effect of the many times I was told, especially by Harvey, that I was nobody." Ultimately, she felt compelled to speak out, giving thanks to those who came before her.
Hayek explains Frida Kahlo was a major influence on her life, and she was determined to make a film about her.
Hayek felt she had to prove herself more than other actresses, as she was from Mexico, and she was determined to have Harvey Weinstein, a powerful and well-respected producer at the time, make her dream movie.
"All I knew of Harvey at the time was that he had a remarkable intellect, he was a loyal friend and a family man," Hayek wrote on her early relationship with the director.
Hayek and Weinstein worked out specific business deals that would put her on the forefront of his movies — and would lead to the creation of "Frida." She was "so excited to work with him and that company," so money wasn't really a factor.
Hayek may have excitedly yes to the movie deal, but soon found herself saying "no" over and over again when they started working together.
"Little did I know it would become my turn to say no. No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with," 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.
No, no, no, no, no …"
Hayek's refusal to comply with Weinstein's sexual demands was met with rage – so much so that he once threatened to kill her.
"The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, 'I will kill you, don’t think I can’t," she explained.
Weinstein's offenses didn't stop there. He continued to diminish her as an actress and as a person. "In his eyes, I was not an artist. I wasn’t even a person. I was a thing: not a nobody, but a body," the 51-year-old actress wrote.
After almost preventing "Frida" from being made (he kept coming up with ridiculous demands to stall the production), Weinstein appeared on the set of "Frida" to make more offensive passes at Hayek.
"He told me that the only thing I had going for me was my sex appeal and that there was none of that in this movie. So he told me he was going to shut down the film because no one would want to see me in that role," she said.
At that moment, Hayek explained she felt defeated and incompetent, both as a producer and as a woman. She eventually agreed to do a nude sex scene with another woman so the movie could get made, even though she felt it was unnecessary and it made her deeply uncomfortable. "But this time, it was clear to me he would never let me finish this movie without him having his fantasy one way or another. There was no room for negotiation," she said.
"Even though 'Frida' eventually won him two Oscars, I still didn’t see any joy," Hayek explained.
Years later, the director apologized to Hayek for what he'd done and told her he considered himself a changed man. “You did well with ‘Frida’; we did a beautiful movie," he told her, and she believed him, despite everything he had done that had already crushed her soul.
Hayek's saga with Weinstein is thankfully over, but she knows there's still a lot of work to be done in Hollywood, which starts with stars like her speaking up.
"Until there is equality in our industry, with men and women having the same value in every aspect of it, our community will continue to be a fertile ground for predators," she wrote.