‘He tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things’
Uma Thurman first broke her silence on sexual predator producer Harvey Weinstein in an Instagram post back in November. Now, she's spoken at length in an interview with the New York Times where she recounts being raped, sexually assaulted and involved in a car accident – all thanks to the actions of various men in the showbiz industry.
It was an unnamed actor 20 years her senior who was the first person to violate her at age 16. “I tried to say no, I cried, I did everything I could do,” she said.
On Weinstein, Thurman said she knew him “pretty well” before he attacked her. After working on Pulp Fiction, the 1994 Quentin Tarantino-directed movie which Weinstein produced, they were having a meeting at the Savoy Hotel in London when he tried to “shove himself” onto her.
“He tried to expose himself,” she went on. “He did all kinds of unpleasant things. But he didn’t actually put his back into it and force me. 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.” Later, Thurman said she confronted him – saying: “If you do what you did to me to other people you will lose your career, your reputation and your family, I promise you.”
Eventually Weinstein “went from aggressive to ashamed” and he apologised – but not before having a talking to from Tarantino, who Thurman also names as a man who has treated her badly throughout the course of their working relationship. Initially Tarantino brushed off Thurman's accusations against Weinstein, but eventually believed her and “confronted Harvey”, according to Thurman.
Later, while filming Kill Bill (also produced by Weinstein), Tarantino allegedly revelled in “sadistic flourishes”, such as spitting in her face and choking her with a chain for particular scenes. He also put Thurman in a dangerous situation involving a car stunt, which led to her crashing the vehicle into a palm tree. After the crash her legs were jammed underneath her, leading her to believe that she would never walk again.
“Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me. And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn’t feel he had tried to kill me,” said Thurman. Her knees are permanently injured from the accident and her and Tarantino were in a “terrible fight for years”. Tarantino meanwhile, continued working with Weinstein right up until 2017.
Thurman herself acknowledged that she was both “a person who was subjected to it and a person who was then also part of the cloud cover” when it came to Weinstein's behaviour – calling it a “weird split” to have.