Uma Thurman detailed a pair of assaults she experienced during meetings with Harvey Weinstein in a new interview. The actress also called out director Quentin Tarantino for his role in a car crash on the Kill Bill set that left Thurman seriously injured, an incident that created a longstanding rift between the director and his “muse.”
In October, in the aftermath of allegations of rape and sexual misconduct against Weinstein, Thurman – forever linked to Weinstein’s Miramax thanks to roles in Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill – said in a red carpet interview, “I’ve been waiting to feel less angry and when I am ready, I will say what I have to say.”
Speaking to the New York Times, Thurman disclosed her own incidents with Weinstein, including one encounter in a Paris hotel room where – during an argument over scripts – the producer donned a bathrobe and had the actress follow him to a steam room. “I didn’t feel threatened. I thought he was being super idiosyncratic, like this was your kooky, eccentric uncle,” Thurman said of the incident, which occurred sometime after the release of Pulp Fiction.
However, soon after at the producer’s London hotel suite, Thurman claims that Weinstein assaulted her. “It was such a bat to the head,” Thurman said. “He pushed me down. He tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things. But he didn’t actually put his back into it and force me. You’re like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard. I was doing anything I could to get the train back on the track. My track. Not his track.”
Thurman later confronted Weinstein about the assault at the hotel room – “If you do what you did to me to other people you will lose your career, your reputation and your family, I promise you,” she told him – but another incident allegedly occurred. Thurman did not share the details with New York Times but that encounter left the actress “shaking.” Thurman added that Weinstein also threatened to derail her career.
When asked about Thurman’s account of the encounters, a spokesperson for Weinstein told the New York Times, “Mr. Weinstein acknowledges making a pass at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals in Paris. He immediately apologized.” The producer also denied threatening Thurman’s career.
In 2001, Tarantino confronted Weinstein about the assaults, at which point the producer, who “went from aggressive to ashamed,” gave a “half-assed apology” to the actress.
“I am one of the reasons that a young girl would walk into his room alone, the way I did,” Thurman said. “Quentin used Harvey as the executive producer of Kill Bill, a movie that symbolizes female empowerment. And all these lambs walked into slaughter because they were convinced nobody rises to such a position who would do something illegal to you, but they do.”
In addition to the Weinstein encounters, Thurman also talked about an incident where, as a 16-year-old, an unnamed actor 20 years older than her coerced Thurman into a sexual situation. “I was ultimately compliant,” Thurman said. “I tried to say no, I cried, I did everything I could do. He told me the door was locked but I never ran over and tried the knob. When I got home, I remember I stood in front of the mirror and I looked at my hands and I was so mad at them for not being bloody or bruised.”
During Thanksgiving, Thurman reiterated on Instagram that she was readying to expose Weinstein and his “wicked conspirators” but “I feel it’s important to take your time, be fair, be exact.” The image that accompanied Thurman’s warning was a still of her Kill Bill character driving a car, an intentional choice: Thurman also revealed in the New York Times interview that she was seriously injured on the Kill Bill set while driving that blue convertible, which Thurman called a “deathbox.”
According to Thurman, after being warned about the unsafe nature of the vehicle, she asked that a stunt driver film the scene instead; however, Tarantino ultimately pressured her into getting behind the wheel. During filming, Thurman accidentally crashed the car into a tree, resulting in severe injures to her neck and knees. “I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again,'” Thurman said. “Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me. And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn’t feel he had tried to kill me.”
When Thurman’s lawyer sent a letter to Miramax reserving the right to sue over the accident, both the producers and Tarantino refused to give Thurman footage of the crash; 15 years later, Tarantino finally relented and gave the actress the crash footage, which is embedded in the New York Times interview.
“Harvey assaulted me but that didn’t kill me,” Thurman said, adding that the crash caused a rift between her and the director. “What really got me about the crash was that it was a cheap shot. I had been through so many rings of fire by that point.”