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Lena Headey says Refusing Harvey Weinstein's Sexual Advances Impacted on a Decade of her Career

Jadzia Samuel Wednesday 20 February 2019

Lena Headey rose to her current Hollywood throne as the Queen of Westeros on 'Game of Thrones'. The actress began her trajectory with the HBO show in 2010 when she was 35 years old and her brilliance, both on screen and off, has us all questioning where she had been for all those years beforehand. While many actors indeed choose to pursue an acting career further down the line, in Headley's case it appears that there may have been far more sinister reasons for which her career remained in the shadows for so long.

Lena Headey

The actress, who is best known for her her portrayal of Cersei of 'Game of Thrones, admitted in October 2017, when the Pandora's Box of decades of sexual abuse in Hollywood was opened, that she had crossed paths with Harvey Weinstein twice. Now she has also confessed her belief that having refused his sexual advances cost her ten years of her career.

"After he was discovered to be a slime ball, on a grander scale than me just knowing it, I did start thinking, 'Fuck, maybe because I didn't shag him, that's impacted a decade of my working life,'" Headey admitted to the Sunday Times. "I did two jobs for Miramax before those incidents, and after that there was nothing."

Headey explained her experiences with Weinstein in a series of Tweets, when the testimonies of the producer's alleged victims were beginning to take to social networks and the media to tell their own stories. The first of her encounters was at the Venice Film Festival in 2005 during the promotion tour for 'The Brothers Grimm', produced by Weinstein's Miramax company; she says that he asked her to take a walk with him, during which he made a suggestive gesture and comment, which she laughed off at the time.

After this first incident the actress reports of another, several years later, in a hotel in Los Angeles. She reports that Weinstein invited her up to his room in order to give her a script, but when they entered the lift, "the energy shifted, my whole body went into high alert. The lift was going up and I said to Harvey, 'I'm not interested in anything other than work, please don't think I got in here with you for any other reason, nothing is going to happen.'"

She says that the producer became "really angry" and walked her back through the hotel to the valet: "He paid for my car and whispered in my ear, 'Don't tell anyone about this, not your manager, not your agent.' I got into my car and I cried".

Harvey Weinstein and Brother

The Power of Weinstein

There is no way of telling how Headey's career could have turned out if she had given in to the predatory producer's advances, but her case is not unique. Peter Jackson, the director of 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy (which was produced by Weinstein's Miramax) admitted that Weinstein pressured him into hiring neither Ashley Judd nor Mira Sorvino, both of whom had upcoming careers leading up to the films.

"At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us [about the actresses] but in hindsight, I realise that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing," Jackson confessed. "I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women. And as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list."

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