Another prominent actress came forward with accusations of sexual assault against producer Harvey Weinstein this week, with Annabella Sciorra—perhaps best known from her starring role in The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, and a season-long, Emmy-nominated stint as Tony Soprano’s girlfriend Gloria Trillo on The Sopranos—giving The New Yorker an account of her encounter with Weinstein, one that is becoming increasingly, depressingly familiar, if no less horrific for the repetition.
Talking to Ronan Farrow—who also wrote The New Yorker’s initial piece on Weinstein, accusing the former Weinstein Co. head of multiple instances of rape—Sciorra describes being lured into “the Miramax circle” in the early 1990s, a slow escalation that culminated in Weinstein offering her a ride home after a party one night. After being dropped off, Sciorra heard a knocking at the door; when she opened it, Weinstein “walked in like it was his apartment, like he owned the place, and started unbuttoning his shirt.” Despite her repeated assertions that he leave, Weinstein proceeded to push Sciorra onto her bed, and raped her. “When he was done, he ejaculated on my leg, and on my nightgown,” Sciorra told Farrow. “He said, ‘I have impeccable timing,’ and then he said, ‘This is for you,’” before attempting to force oral sex on her. He eventually left, but, years later, renewed a similar campaign of harassment—phone calls, pounding on hotel room doors, barging into her rooms—against her.
Farrow’s article focuses on the various pressures brought to bear on women like Sciorra, to keep them silent in the wake of one of Weinstein’s alleged assaults. (Indeed, it opens with a note that Sciorra initially denied she’d had any negative encounters with Weinstein at all when Farrow approached her for his initial piece.) Sciorra and Daryl Hannah—who was also interviewed for the article, describing Weinstein’s alleged harassment of her during the promotional tour for the Kill Bill films—both cited a strong desire to keep their privacy intact, and fear that speaking out would damage their careers. Sciorra: “From 1992, I didn’t work again until 1995. I just kept getting this pushback of ‘We heard you were difficult; we heard this or that.’ I think that that was the Harvey machine.”
One of the saddest notes in the story comes from Rosie Perez, Sciorra’s long-time friend, and one of the first people she told about Weinstein’s actions. Describing the way her friend changed after the incident, Perez—who urged Sciorra to go to the police with her account of the assault—told Farrow, “She was riding high, and then she started acting weird and getting reclusive. It made no sense. Why did this woman, who was so talented, and riding so high, doing hit after hit, then all of a sudden fall off the map? It hurts me as a fellow actress to see her career not flourish the way it should have.”