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Entertainment  

Salma Hayek 'ashamed'

Salma Hayek feels "ashamed" that she wasn't brave enough to be part of the original expose detailing Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct.

The 51-year-old actress detailed her experiences with the disgraced movie mogul in The New York Times in December - two months after the publication first printed accusations about Weinstein from Ashley Judd and a group of other women.

However, as she spoke to Oprah Winfrey for her SuperSoul Conversations podcast on Wednesday, Salma admitted that she had been invited to be part of the first piece, but turned it down.

"They contacted me to be a part of the first story, The New York Times... already I started crying when they asked, and I ended up not doing it," Salma said. "I started crying because (I had PTSD) (post-traumatic stress disorder). Then I felt ashamed... I was supporting women for two decades and then I was a coward. I was pretending everything was OK, so I had been around Harvey and acting like everything was OK."

In Salma's New York Times op-ed, she claimed Weinstein sexually harassed and berated her as she attempted to get her 2002 movie Frida made. He denied the allegations at the time, but Salma went into further detail about her experiences with the producer during Wednesday's discussion.

"Throughout the years, I (earned his respect)," she said. "I earned it with blood. He never raped me (but the harassment) was not one or two occasions. It was five years..."

Eventually, Salma built up the courage to detail her time with Weinstein, but told Oprah it took her a long time to get down what she wanted to say.

"I cried every time I would pick up the pen. It took me a while (after the Times called). I went, 'Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no. OK, I'm going to do it. No, I'm not going to do it. Nobody cares about what I have to say, already other people said it.'

"And finally, I said it, because there was something I felt nobody had talked about which was it was not only the abuse, the sexual harassment, it's the undermining. The abuse of being constantly underminded because we're women. And this was important too, because it's so painful."

Salma added she was "depressed, paranoid and lived in fear" during her time dealing with Weinstein, and had no idea that others had allegedly experienced similar working situations with the producer. When her piece was published, Salma's close friend Penelope Cruz was "furious at me because I never told her anything."

Salma said alleged victims had to stop apologizing for being attacked and spoke about the Time's Up movement, created in response to the sexual harassment scandal in Hollywood, saying, "I think that sometimes we underestimate our efforts... and the power that it has for change. All these efforts of every single one of you, they pile up until there is an explosion."



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