Harvey Weinstein 'Does Not Recall' Pressuring Salma Hayek to Do a Gratuitous Sex Scene in Frida
Salma Hayek is added her name to the list of celebrities speaking out about disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein
In an emotional New York Times op ed published Wednesday, the 51-year-old actress detailed her experiences with Weinstein through the course of the making of the 2002 Miramax Frida Kahlo biopic Frida — claiming, among other things, that he had once threatened to kill her when she refused his advances.
In a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Weinstein denied “all of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma” — though the movie mogul admitted to “boorish behavior.”
Addressing a slew of claims levied against him by Hayek, Weinstein said he had to fight to cast Hayek as the lead Frida over Jennifer Lopez, and said any tension on set helped make the film better.
“Mr. Weinstein regards Salma Hayek as a first-class actress and cast her in several of his movies, among them Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Dogma, and Studio 54. He was very proud of her Best Actress Academy Award nomination for Frida and continues to support her work,” read the statement.
“While Jennifer Lopez was interested in playing Frida and at the time was a bigger star, Mr. Weinstein overruled other investors to back Salma as the lead. Miramax put up half of the money and all of the P&A; the budget was over 12 million,” it continued. “As in most collaborative projects, there was creative friction on Frida, but it served to drive the project to perfection. The movie opened in multiple theaters and was supported by a huge advertising campaign and an enormous Academy Awards budget.”
In her op-ed, Hayek said Weinstein demanded the actress to do a sex scene with another woman with full-frontal nudity, which she said led to her having a “nervous breakdown” on set.
Weinstein denies the allegation and said the scene was choreographed by Hayek herself.
“Mr. Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female costar and he was not there for the filming,” read the statement. “However, that was part of the story, as Frida Kahlo was bisexual and the more significant sex scene in the movie was choreographed by Ms. Hayek with Geoffrey Rush. The original uni-brow used was an issue because it diverted attention from the performances.”
Hayek also included a list of sexual advances she claims Weinstein made against her over the course of filming.
“All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired,” said Weinstein in the statement.
Over 50 women have accused Weinstein, 65, of sexual misconduct since The New York Times and The New Yorker documented decades of alleged sexual misconduct and sexual assault involving a number of women in detailed articles in October.
In his statement, Weinstein also denies that he blocked Ed Norton from getting a writing credit on Frida, but admitted to acting poorly in response to the final cut of the film.
“Ed Norton, who was Ms. Hayek’s boyfriend at the time, [worked with Mr. Weinstein on the rewrite of the script in Mexico] did a brilliant job of rewriting the script and Mr. Weinstein battled the WGA to get him a credit on the film. His effort was unsuccessful to everyone’s disappointment.”
The statement concluded, “By Mr. Weinstein’s own admission, his boorish behavior following a screening of Frida was prompted by his disappointment in the cut of the movie—and a reason he took a firm hand in the final edit, alongside the very skilled director Julie Taymor.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Weinstein’s attorneys, Berk and Brafman, previously said: “Mr. Weinstein has never at any time committed an act of sexual assault, and it is wrong and irresponsible to conflate claims of impolitic behavior or consensual sexual contact later regretted, with an untrue claim of criminal conduct. There is a wide canyon between mere allegation and truth, and we are confident that any sober calculation of the facts will prove no legal wrongdoing occurred.
“Nonetheless, to those offended by Mr. Weinstein’s behavior, he remains deeply apologetic.”