Actress Alice Evans has called on victims of sexual harassment to speak out as she described being “propositioned” by Harvey Weinstein earlier in her career.
While she said that the movie mogul “had done nothing wrong”, she suggested that her refusal to respond to the producer’s advances influenced his decision not to give her film roles.
Her story follows a string of harassment and assault allegations that have emerged against Weinstein over the last week, including a recent claim by actress Rose McGowan that he raped her.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph Evans, 46, claimed that the filmmaker invited her to join him in the bathroom on their first meeting during the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
Hours earlier her husband-to-be, actor Ioan Gruffudd, had screen-tested for one of Weinstein’s films.
The Vampire Diaries star wrote: “I laugh, make a joke. Keep rambling. But he continues: ‘Just go. I’m right behind you. I want to touch your tits. Kiss you a little.’
“He moves right up close to me and looks me up and down. I can feel his breath. And it’s not your average tipsy come-on. It’s sinister. The sort of thing that makes you want to run away fast.
“But as I extricate myself (by moving backwards and murmuring various excuses) Harvey utters a phrase that has stayed with me forever. ‘Let’s hope it all works out for your boyfriend,’ he says.”
Evans said that Weinstein’s overt and repeated proposition was not illegal, however the actress was left feeling that “somehow I will be made to pay”.
“I was never again considered for a Weinstein film, and neither was Ioan,” she said.
The actress has since boasted roles in TV shows including The Originals, Brothers & Sisters, The Mentalist and Lost, as well as appearances in movie titles Liars All, Hollywood Dreams and 102 Dalmations.
Evans described her story as an example of “sociopaths in positions of control in Hollywood”, and said that “Harvey’s fall from grace will mean nothing,” unless others who abuse positions of power are not publicly denounced.
Evans lamented that there will remain to be people who would “rather play it safe than try to change the status quo”, adding that “more than one person” discouraged her from writing the piece.
However she added: “I’m heartened by the many who have spoken out in recent days not just against Harvey, but a culture of sexual bullying within the industry that’s neither a “game” nor part of some quaint movie tradition but unacceptable on a very basic human level.
“And I really hope that the ‘You can count on me – I won’t tell’ days are over.
“None of us should be counted on to cover up the immoralities of those above us – and all of us should now tell.”
A representative for Weinstein has been approached for comment.