Sex and the City actor and Dancing with the Stars contestant Gilles Marini is opening up about his experience dealing with unwanted sexual advances in Hollywood.
“I was approached by extremely powerful people, especially after Sex and the City,” the actor, 41, tells PEOPLE. “I became a piece of meat for many executives in Hollywood.”
The French-born model and actor gained U.S. fame as Samantha’s (Kim Cattrall) sexy lover Dante in Sex and the City: The Movie in 2008 and was a contestant on two seasons of DWTS.
Marini made the comments in connection with the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The Oscar-winning producer has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 50 women since The New York Times and The New Yorker documented decades of alleged abuse in detailed articles earlier this month. (Marini did not claim Weinstein abused him.)
A spokesperson for Weinstein previously told PEOPLE in a statement that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”
“This man doesn’t need to go to a sexual addiction [treatment] … that is a joke to me,” the French actor said of Weinstein, who checked himself into a luxury resort in Arizona earlier this month for treatment. “When you violate someone, the only place you need to go is jail.”
RELATED: Ashley Judd and Multiple Women Accuse Movie Mogul Harvey Weinstein of Sexual Harassment as He Announces Leave of Absence
Marini also spoke about his own experiences dealing with sexual misconduct, explaining that abused men often find it difficult to come forward. “I didn’t see many men use the hashtag #MeToo,” he said, referring to the viral hashtag used by alleged abuse victims on social media. “And the reason is because it’s a stigma, it’s a shame, you lose your manhood.”
He added, “When a young man is affected by being raped, or sexually harassed, or touched … you will never hear [about it] — but those people exist.”
After revealing that he was propositioned by powerful executives “many times” during and after his time of Sex and the City, Marini said, “I didn’t have to talk about it because I told them to their face that this is not going to fly, this is not who I am. … If this job entails me bending over, it’s not going to work for me.”
He was also noted that sexual misconduct effects all industries, not just the film business. “No, it’s a worldwide thing,” he said, adding, “And it involves women, but it also involve a lot of men. Those men will never come out, and it’s sad.”
- Reporting by REAGAN ALEXANDER