Mira Sorvino on the 'Disturbing' Backlash She Received After Making Harvey Weinstein Accusations
Sorvino penned a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter Friday, in which she discussed her alleged experience of sexual harassment at the hands of Weinstein
Maria Sorvino is standing by her decision to speak out against Harvey Weinstein.
Sorvino penned a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter Friday, in which she discussed her alleged experience of sexual harassment at the hands of Weinstein — and the backlash she’s faced since telling her story.
“I usually have a sleepy little Twitter account. One day after the story came out, there were over a million views,” she wrote. “Eight out of 10 comments were an affirmation. Two out of 10, the 20 percent that were trolls, were quite disturbing. It felt like a gut punch at times.”
Sorvino said she saw comments that accused her of keeping silent in order to save her career.
“It’s ironic what people say: ‘Movie roles over morals.’ What movie roles?” she wrote. “With Miramax?!”
And while the actress said that after speaking she felt an “enormous peace wash over me,” the decision did not come easily.
“I prayed about what to do. I called my minister and said, “I think I’m going to use my name even though I’m really nervous about his retaliation and what the career implications will be,’ ” she said. “I felt like I may never work again and had to be OK with that. My minister, who happens to be female, thought I had to go forward with my story, and I agreed with her.”
Sorvino accused Weinstein of sexual harassment in a revealing New Yorker expose in October. In it, she said that her encounter with Weinstein occurred at the Toronto International Film Festival in Sept. 1995.
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The Oscar winner claimed she was in a hotel room with Weinstein — who she was working with on movie Mighty Aphrodite at the time — when he “started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around.” Sorvino said she made multiple excuses to deflect Weinstein’s advances, eventually leaving the room.
Sorvino won an Oscar for her work in Mighty Aphrodite.
“To not continue and star in their movies much past that doesn’t make sense,” she wrote. “I felt if I had accepted Harvey’s advances, I would have continued to make movies with them, and they were the people winning the Oscars for that decade.”
After the article came out, Sorvino said she received an outpouring of support from fellow women in Hollywood — with some even sharing their own encounters with Weinstein.
“The day that the story was published, Annabella Sciorra called me and said, ‘Oh my God, Mira, I’ve known you for years …’ and then she said, ‘Harvey raped me.’ I had no idea,” she wrote. “She was making up her mind about what she wanted to do, and we talked for an hour. It was so horrifying, and I cried for her. Eventually she also gave her story to Ronan [Farrow].”
“Just the fact that she read it, that she was saying people will understand now, was worth it,” she continued.
Sorvino wrote that she’s optimistic about the future, and hopes to see a serious change occur in Hollywood.
“It’s wonderful how breaking the silence has become a watershed moment, but it will be worth naught if it doesn’t turn into action that changes the equation,” she wrote.
The actress said she wants to be part of the change that makes the world a safer place for her children.
“I have a 13-year-old and a 5-year-old daughter, and I don’t want that to be their experience, their inheritance as members of this planet. I’d like it to be a real free world for women, not one of fear. That’s one of the reasons I have been vocal on this. For my daughters’ sake, I have to be on the right side of history and help foment change.”
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 sexual misconduct and sexual assault involving a number of women in detailed articles in October.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Weinstein’s attorneys, Berk and Brafman, 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.”