Actress Julianna Margulies said in an interview that producer Harvey Weinstein and actor Steven Seagal both tried to sexually harass her earlier in her career. The star of TV’s The Good Wife claimed that she was led to their rooms by female assistants ostensibly for business reasons. However, “These women were leading me to the lion’s den.”
Speaking to Sirius XM’s Jenny Hutt on her Just Jenny show, Margulies recounted now-familiar tales of being taken to hotel rooms on the pretext of some official business.
In the Seagal case, Margulies was 23 when a female casting director asked her to go to the actor’s hotel room at 10:00 pm to go over a scene. She was told it was between her and another actress for a role that would get her the coveted Screen Actors Guild card.
Margulies said when she arrived at the hotel, the casting director wasn’t there, but Seagal was. When she entered his hotel room, “I saw his gun, which I had never seen a gun in real life.” Somehow, Margulies said, she got out of the room “unscathed. I never was raped. And I never was harmed. And I don’t know how I got out of that hotel room…I sorta screamed my way out.”
Shaken by the encounter, a far more wary Margulies recounted a 1996 encounter with Weinstein. She was in her third season of the TV series ER and told that if she met with Weinstein, she would get a screen test. She was also promised that the woman accompanying her would be in the room at the Peninsula hotel with them.
“She knocked on the door, and she was standing behind me,” Margulies recalled. “And he opened the door in a bathrobe. I could see that there were candles lit in the room, and there was a dinner for two. And I saw him stare at her, daggers.”
Margulies turned to look at her companion. “And I caught her in a shrug – like, “What could I do?” And he looked at me, furious, and he took the door and he said, ‘Just wanted to say good audition.’ And he slammed the door.”
Margulies did not get the part. And although she is now established enough to avoid future such incidents, she asked, “What’s a sixteen-year-old actress supposed to do?” she asked.