Several of the women who have accused disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment have shared eerily similar stories of sinister meetings in hotel rooms, where they were greeted at the door by a bathrobe-clad Weinstein. It’s a story that sounds all too familiar to PEOPLE writer Natasha Stoynoff.
In a new op-ed for USA TODAY, Stoynoff recalls enduring a similar hotel-room attack as a college student — at the hands of an Oscar-nominated actor and “predator nearly twice her age.”
In her essay, Stoynoff — who last year accused then-candidate Donald Trump of pushing her against a wall and forcing a kiss on her during a 2005 interview — recalls meeting the acclaimed actor at a film festival and asking if she could interview him for her college newspaper. (Trump and Weinstein have both denied the allegations against them.)
When she showed up to the actor’s hotel room for the interview, she says he “answered the door of his suite wearing only … a bathrobe.”
“Before I even sat down, he dropped his robe, grabbed parts of me he shouldn’t, and said: ‘I’m going to f–k you so hard, you’ll scream like a whore,’ ” Stoynoff recalls now.
RELATED VIDEO: Watch: Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence, Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Attack
She fled the room as quickly as possible. The next day, desperate to deliver on her “big get” for her college paper, Stoynoff called the actor to complete the promised interview by phone.
“More than 30 years and a thousand celebrity interviews later, that actor’s searing words are still branded in my memory,” Stoynoff writes. “Reading the horror stories accusing Harvey Weinstein of summoning young, aspiring starlets to his suite and greeting them in his robe revived that memory.”
“That early incident was the first time a man who possessed fame, authority or power attacked me. It wouldn’t be the last,” she added.
Reflecting on going public last year with Trump’s alleged attack on her, Stoynoff says she realizes now that her early experience with the actor played a role in not reporting the Trump incident when it happened.
“This actor was an early, painful lesson about the way some powerful men abuse their power. Like many women, my life has been riddled with experiences of sexual misconduct by teachers, doctors, bosses and more,” she writes, later adding: “I didn’t speak out about Trump at the time because I was afraid he’d ruin my career.”
Stoynoff says the shame and blame women carry over past abuse have kept them silent for centuries — but that she is hopeful for the future now that many women are banding together against their powerful, famous attackers — including Trump and Weinstein.
“We are not afraid anymore, and there is no room in this world for men of this ilk,” she writes. “In the battle between the new sisterhood and the Old Boys Club we’re taking names, we’re speaking out, and we’re going to kick ass.”