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Harvey Weinstein’s former assistant ‘attempted suicide twice’ after he allegedly tried to rape her

Rowena Chiu writes about two decades of alleged trauma in New York Times op-ed

Ellie Harrison
Monday 07 October 2019 14:27
Rowena Chiu on her assault by Harvey Weinstein: 'I was petrified and terrified as he tried to rape me'

Harvey Weinstein’s former assistant Rowena Chiu has said she attempted suicide twice after the disgraced movie mogul allegedly tried to rape her 21 years ago.

In an op-ed in The New York Times, the former Miramax employee claimed that Weinstein told her “he liked Chinese girls... because they were discreet” hours before the alleged assault took place.

“You’ve most likely never heard of me. I’m not an actress,” Chiu wrote. “I don’t even work in Hollywood anymore. I was one of many ordinary, unfamous women trying to do their jobs who were abused by Harvey.”

Chiu, who is British, said she was discussing “potential film productions and scripts” during a late-night meeting with Weinstein at the Venice Film Festival when she was allegedly assaulted.

“After hours of fending off his chitchat, flattery, requests for massages and a bath, ultimately I found myself pushed back against the bed,” she wrote. “I’d worn two pairs of tights for protection, and tried to appease him by taking one of them off and letting him massage me, but it hadn’t worked.

“He’d taken off the other pair and I was terrified my underwear would be next. Harvey moved in: ‘Please,’ he told me, ‘just one thrust, and it will all be over.’”

Chiu said she tried to stop Weinstein by asking to go back to discussing the scripts and telling him she had a boyfriend. Eventually, she wrote, she was able to “wriggle off the bed and leave,” because “Harvey thought there would be another night to play the game and half the fun was the chase”.

While living with the alleged trauma for nearly two decades, Chiu wrote that she attempted suicide twice. She said she lived in “constant fear” of Weinstein’s “abuse, control and power,” suffering “completely isolated from those around me.”

Chiu spoke out for the first time publicly in the new book She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement.

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Weinstein’s lawyer said Chiu’s allegations are false and refuted other allegations in the book.

“This book contains one-sided allegations without having adequately investigated the facts of each situation,” wrote Donna Rotunno, adding that Weinstein and Chiu had “a six-month physical relationship” that was consensual.

She also said that Weinstein was now considering taking legal action against Chiu for breaking a nondisclosure agreement.

If you or someone you know needs mental health support or advice, you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 or www.samaritans.org . For help after rape and sexual assault you can contact Rape Crisis England & Wales or the NHS

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