Mira Sorvino (Getty/Christopher Polk)

Mira Sorvino claims a Hollywood casting director gagged her with a condom when she was 16 years old

"What the heck was a casting director doing with a condom in his pocket?" the Oscar winner recalled in an interview


follow us in feedly
Rachel Leah
July 13, 2018 6:02PM (UTC)

Mira Sorvino, the Academy Award-winning actress who was among the first wave of women who publicly accused the disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, recently opened up about another allegation of abuse she faced in Hollywood: A casting director allegedly gagged her with a condom during an addition when she was just 16 years old.

"In looking back over at my career, I realized that one of my very first auditions when I was 16, I was completely treated inappropriately by the casting director," Sorvino, now 50, told the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s "HFPA In Conversation" podcast. "In order to scare me for this horror movie scene, he tied me to a chair, he bruised my arm – and I was 16 years old – and then he gagged me. And, I was all game, because I’m trying to be scared for the scene."

Advertisement:

"And, at the end, he takes the gag out of my mouth. And, he said, 'Sorry for the prophylactic.' So, he had gagged me with a condom," she continued. "I was too young to even know – thank God – what a condom tasted like. It was so inappropriate, and what the heck was a casting director doing with a condom in his pocket in an audition?"

Sorvino also accused "one big director" who "has Oscars" and is know for his "social justice profile" of saying to her at the end of an audition: "You know, as I look at you, my mind can’t help but traveling from the artistic possibilities to the sexual."

This is not the first time Sorvino has brought up this issue. In Ronan Farrow's Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker exposé about Weinstein, Sorvino claimed Weinstein sexually harassed her. According to Farrow's report, the former producer "tried to pressure her into a physical relationship while they were working together."

And, while it was her performance in "Mighty Aphrodite," a Miramax-distributed film that earned her an Oscar for best supporting actress, Sorvino suspected that her rejection of Weinstein's alleged sexual advances hurt her career in the long run.

Film director Peter Jackson corroborated her story, claiming that Weinstein told him Sorvino was "a nightmare to work with" and to avoid her "at all costs." He admitted that this alleged smear pushed her out of the running for a role in "The Lord of the Rings." Weinstein denied the claims, saying that Miramax "had no input into the casting whatsoever."

READ MORE: Women’s anger is not to be ignored: Lessons from HBO’s “Sharp Objects”

When Weinstein was arrested and charged in May for sex crimes, Sorvino told "Today" that "it feels like a really good first step." But, she added that it was still an emotional experience, as "he's raped many people that I love, so it's not really a happy occasion."

"I think maybe there will be some celebration when he gets convicted and goes to jail," she added.

Advertisement:

Sorvino has also expressed remorse for working with Woody Allen on "Mighty Aphrodite." In January, she wrote an open letter to Allen's daughter, Dylan Farrow, who has alleged she was molested by the director as a child.

"I am so sorry, Dylan! I cannot begin to imagine how you have felt, all these years as you watched someone you called out as having hurt you as a child, a vulnerable little girl in his care, be lauded again and again, including by me and countless others in Hollywood who praised him and ignored you," Sorvino wrote in HuffPost.

"As a mother and a woman, this breaks my heart for you. I am so, so sorry!" she continued. "I send you love and inclusion and admiration for your courage all this time. I believe you!!!"

Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein scandal

What male psychology leads to the abuse of power and why has Hollywood has covered up harassment incidents like these for decades?


Rachel Leah

Rachel Leah is a culture writer for Salon. You can follow her on Twitter: @rachelkleah

MORE FROM Rachel Leah

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••






Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •