British actress Sophie Dix opened up to the Guardian this week in a harrowing interview in which she describes in detail an alleged sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein when she was 22 years old, an experience she says derailed her acting career and which she called “the single most damaging thing that’s happened in my life.”
Dix, now 49, told the Guardian that she was on her way up as an actress in 1990 when she met Weinstein at the Savoy Hotel in London, where Weinstein apparently preferred to stay when he visited. Dix was in a film with Colin Firth called The Advocate (or The Hour of the Pig in the UK), when Weinstein invited her to dinner at a nearby upscale restaurant.
“Maybe I went to talk about the film, maybe I went because it was a dinner in Joe Allen with someone from Hollywood. The point was, I had met him before I was doing a film with him. It was an exciting time of my life,” the then-22-year-old said. “I was open and trusting and I had never met a predator; I had never considered a predator.”
At the dinner, Dix told the paper, Weinstein “made sure the wine was flowing” and told her he wanted her input on some scenes he was working on for another film. He invited her back to his hotel room to watch “rushes” of the scenes.
The young actress, who had just begun working on her first-ever film, went to the hotel “trustingly, and naively perhaps.” But as soon as she made it to his room, she realized she’d made a “terrible mistake.”
“I got to the hotel room, I remember talk of a massage and I thought that was pretty gross. I think he showed me his big back and I found that pretty horrid,” she told the paper.
“Then before I knew it, he started trying to pull my clothes off and pin me down and I just kept saying, ‘No, no, no.’ But he was really forceful,” Dix added. “I remember him pulling at my trousers and stuff and looming over me and I just sort of – I am a big, strong girl and I bolted … ran for the bathroom and locked the door.”
Dix said she remained in the bathroom for a time with the door locked. But when she opened the door to leave, she said Weinstein was standing in front of the door and masturbating, and so she quickly shut the door again and locked it. She was only able to escape when she heard the room service cart arrive at the door, and made a run for it.
Dix told the paper the incident completely destroyed her. She remained in bed for six months, and decided she no longer wanted to be an actress.
“I decided if this is what being an actress is like, I don’t want it,” she recalled.
Dix added that she was “very vocal” about the incident at the time, telling friends, family, and co-workers what had happened. She considered reporting the incident to the police; but when she discussed it with her fellow actresses, they feared they would be “trashed” and their careers ruined if they spoke up.
“I was met with a wall of silence,” she said. “People in the industry didn’t want to know about it, they didn’t want to hear.”
“I told a lot of people who I thought might be capable of action, and I realised their hands were tied and they weren’t willing to help me in the way I hoped, so I just buried it.
“You think you go into the film business because you think it is this free-thinking, liberal-minded industry, but actually it could not be more opposite. It is as antiquated, as sexist and rigged as they come.”
During Christmas of that year, a few months after the incident, Weinstein allegedly called her house in London, while her family was out of town and she was the only person home. She said Weinstein, in a “tape-recorded situation,” told her he had “decided to turn over a new leaf” in the new year, said he was sorry, and asked if there was anything he could do for her.
Dix said she was “paralyzed” by the call, unsure of what to do.
“It was awful. I felt frightened. I was alone in the house. It was like further abuse, further trauma,” she told the Guardian.
Dix said she never really spoke up about what happened to her all those years ago, because she thought people wouldn’t believe her, or care about her story. She added that the alleged incident with Weinstein destroyed her promising career as an actress; while she starred in several television projects afterward, she never appeared in another film.
“It was massively damaging,” Dix told the paper. “It’s the single most damaging thing that’s happened in my life.”
In a separate interview with the Guardian, Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth, who at the time of the alleged assault was already a successful film actor, said that he feels ashamed that he didn’t act when Dix came to him with details of the incident right after it happened.
“To my shame, I merely expressed sympathy,” Firth told the paper. “I didn’t act on what she told me. It was a long time ago and I don’t know if she remembers telling me, but the fact that I had that conversation has come back to haunt me in the light of these revelations. It’s the only direct account of this kind of behaviour by Harvey Weinstein that’s ever been told to me.”
Dix’s account is just one of dozens that have been re-told or told for the first time in recent weeks, as numerous women, including many of Hollywood’s most recognizable actresses, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Ashley Judd, have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment, abuse, and even rape against Weinstein.
But Dix never became a big star. She did act in some TV after that, but, like Weinstein’s other alleged victim Rose McGowan, she never had a film career — a medium that Weinstein dominated — after his alleged assault.
Now, she says, she is primarily interested in talking about “the aftermath of a trauma like that.”
The disgraced movie mogul is reportedly currently in Arizona, where he is undergoing treatment at a pricey rehabilitation center.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum
This post originally appeared on Breitbart