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Banderas: Hayek stayed mum on abuse 'to protect us' from Weinstein

  • Published at 12:20 am June 11th, 2018
The two actors and close friends filmed the Weinstein-produced movie 'Frida' AFP

Salma Haye never told Antonio Banderas about the abuse to which she says Harvey Weinstein subjected her, according to the Spanish actor, who terms her a close friend.

When he learned about it years after the pair had filmed the Weinstein-produced movie "Frida," Banderas picked up the phone and called to ask her why she had never said anything. 

She said she was "trying to protect us."

Hayek was one of the many alleged victims of the disgraced film producer, who had the power to make, or break, a career. She said he had harassed her for sexual favors and forced her to do a lesbian sex scene in "Frida."

"I've worked with Harvey Weinstein, he has produced films I have been in, but I was not aware of the allegations,” Banderas told AFP in a telephone interview.

"When the issue of Salma came up, the first thing I did was call her to ask, 'Why didn't you tell me anything?'"

She told Banderas she was trying to protect herself and her friends, because she "knew he was a very powerful character and that if she said something to us and we confronted him, we would pay a very high price."

Mexican-born Hayek, writing in The New York Times last December, described Weinstein as a "monster" and detailed the tortuous filming of a movie that won her a best-actress Oscar.

They would go on to work together in other films, including "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" and "Puss in Boots."

The Weinstein scandal first erupted last October, drawing in other big names in the entertainment industry and leading to movements like #MeToo and Time's Up.

"I think it was bound to explode," said the 57-year-old Banderas. "It's unacceptable... These people should be brought before a jury." 

In fact, Weinstein has been charged in another case in New York with rape and assault. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on bail of $1 million.