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Mira Sorvino: I Was Gagged With A Condom At Audition

Actress Mira Sorvino was tied to a chair and gagged with a condom all for the sake of art when she was just 16 years old, she said during an interview with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association released this week.

The Tenafly, New Jersey, native and daughter of actor Paul Sorvino spoke about disgraced Hollywood mogul and accused rapist Harvey Weinstein the #MeToo movement, and sexual harassment and sexual abuse of women in show business during the interview.

Sorvino said that in order to scare her for scenes in a horror movie, a casting director tied her to a chair, bruised her arm, and gagged her.

“And I was all game because I’m trying to be scared for the scene. And at the end, he takes the gag out of my mouth and he says, sorry for the prophylactic,” she said. “That was one of my introductions to how the acting system works. And when you’re young you don’t question, you’re like, oh, OK, I’ve got to be tough, I’ve got to be down to really perform.”

It is not the first instance of abuse Sorvino said she has had to endure as a working Hollywood actress. She said last year in a report by The New Yorker that Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed her.

Sorvino alleges in The New Yorker report that she was lured into Weinstein’s hotel room at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1995 while she was promoting the film “Mighty Aphrodite,” for which she won an Academy Award for best supporting actress. Weinstein allegedly massaged her shoulders and tried to “get more physical,” with Sorvino.

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Weinstein, 66, was charged with rape and multiple other counts of sexual abuse earlier this year. Dozens of women have alleged Weinstein raped and sexually assaulted them over several years.

“The day Harvey gets a conviction is going to be something for anyone that was affected by him or I think other victims in general. It’s a symbolic victory for other victims because if he does go into the criminal system and is incarcerated, then that shows the justice system is working for victims finally,” Sorvino said on the podcast.

Sorvino and other victims speaking out against Weinstein, Bill Cosby and others has given rise to the #MeToo movement.

“You have millions of people who have joined this to raise their voice. All of a sudden, everyone in the general public realizes that the problem is so much more widespread than anyone thought because no one talked about it,” Sorvino said. “Sexual assault, sexual abuse, rape, harassment, misconduct, people did not talk about it much because they were afraid of the abuser because they were afraid of what it would mean for their reputations. Sexual assault or any of these kinds of events is hugely embarrassing for the victim. People don’t want the outside world to know what happened.”

Sorvino and Ashley Judd said Weinstein’s production company, Miramax, blacklisted them from being cast in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Jackson told the Australian publication Stuff last year.

Judd and Sorvino were among some of the first stars to go public with their tales of abuse at the hands Weinstein. Both said they suspected he derailed their careers after they rebuffed them. Several said Weinstein threatened their careers if they didn’t cooperate or if they spoke out.

Sorvino is married to actor, producer, and screenwriter Christopher Backus. They have four children together. She recently appeared in the mini-series “Condor” and has roles in the upcoming thriller “Look Away” and and comedy “Stuber.”

Sorvino said her family keeps her grounded.

“I have four beautiful children who are the heart of my life, they and my husband,” Sorvino said. “They give me so much joy and love. That’s really the center of my life.”

Listen to the interview with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association here:


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Email daniel.hubbard@patch.com

Photo: Actress Mira Sorvino (Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

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