Natalie Portman, who said she’s experienced hundreds of unwanted come-ons during her career, says one of her most frightening involved an invitation to fly with a Hollywood producer on his private jet. It was a flight from hell.
“I was like, yeah, why wouldn’t I accept a flight on a private plane with a big group of people?” she told London’s Daily Mirror.
But when she showed up, she learned she would be the only other passenger on the plane, which only had one bed.
Fortunately, nothing happened, the 36-year-old actress said.
“I was not assaulted. I said, ‘This doesn’t make me feel comfortable,’ and that was respected,” she explained. “That was super not OK. That was really unacceptable and manipulative. I was scared.”
Portman did not name movie mogul, even though Hollywood is being swept by sexual assault allegations by dozens of women.
More than 50 women have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault and abuse, costing him his job and standing in Hollywood.
A string of other Hollywood notables, including Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Piven, screenwriter-director James Toback and producer-director Brett Ratner have been hit by allegations they took advantage of their fame or position to harass starlets.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman, Ashley Judd, Lupita Nyong’o, Heather Graham, Kate Beckinsale, Angelina Jolie and Cara Delevigne among others, claim to have been harassed or assaulted.
“I think my first reaction when I heard everybody coming out was, ‘Wow, I’m so lucky that I haven’t had this,'” Portman said.
But she added:
“And then, on reflection, I was like, ‘OK, I definitely have never been assaulted. But I’ve had discrimination or harassment on almost everything I’ve ever worked on in some way. I went from thinking I don’t have a story to, ‘Oh wait, I have 100 stories.’ “I think a lot of people are having these reckonings with ourselves of things we just took as part of the process.”
The ‘Star Wars’ actress believes the Weinstein scandal will change Hollywood forever and for the better.
“There are so many things that we took for granted as part of our world. A lot of things that we just kind of put up with for reasons of maybe just being numb to it. But if you spent all your time reporting what was going on, that’s all you would do as it’s so pervasive. And yeah, it gets so built into the power struggles in every industry.”
Natalie said sexual discrimination between women and men was ingrained in the film industry.
“When I promote a film, I have to wear fashion on a magazine cover. A man is in a white T-shirt and jeans on a magazine cover – even that is a form of discrimination. That’s a small thing that is not in any way comparable to the accusations of assault, but I think every woman has experienced discrimination. People commenting on my body all the time to me, from the time I was a child. It was a very comfortable environment for discrimination, where it’s not something I ever thought was reportable.”
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