Colin Firth feels 'shame' for failing to act on co-star's alleged Harvey Weinstein encounter

Roisin O'Connor

Colin Firth has said he feels “shame” for not doing more after a co-star told him about an “distressing encounter” with Harvey Weinstein.

The British actor spoke out after Sophie Dix, who starred with him in The Advocate, went public with allegations of sexual assault in a hotel room when she was 22.

Dix claimed that Weinstein invited her to a private room at the Savoy Hotel in London in 1990, where she was forcibly shoved onto a bed while Weinstein “tugged at her clothes”.

She told The Guardian that she managed to run to the bathroom and, after spending some time hiding in there, decided to try and escape the room. She claims she opened the door and found Weinstein facing her, “standing there masturbating”.

Dix says the incident left her traumatised. “I decided if this is what being an actress is like, I don’t want it.”

Firth has now said that he remembers Dix being “profoundly upset”.

“I am extremely pleased that Sophie is speaking out after so many years. I ran into her at a party some time after filming ‘Hour of the Pig’ – around 25 years ago. She told me she had had a distressing encounter with Harvey Weinstein.

“I don’t think she went into all the horrific detail I’ve read in her interview. But I remember her being profoundly upset by it. To my shame, I merely expressed sympathy. I didn’t act on what she told me.

He goes on to explain: “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.

“What I heard, it turns out, was part of a horrifying pattern. Other women have been hurt since. And those of us who didn’t act on our one bit of knowledge – and especially those of us who went on to work with Weinstein – have that on our conscience.”

He added: “I admire Sophie’s courage. This can’t have been easy.”

Dix responded: “I am delighted Colin has spoken and I remember him being very supportive at the time. It’s never easy speaking out, but I wanted to help resolve this problem and show that women cannot be treated like this in the workplace.”

More and more women in Hollywood have come forward with accusations against the film mogul, including high profile actresses such as Kate Beckinsale, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cara Delevingne, and Mira Sorvino.

In a statement issued earlier this week, Weinstein’s spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein. Mr Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.

“He will not be available for further comments, as he is taking the time to focus on his family, on getting counselling and rebuilding his life.”

Follow Independent Culture on Facebook