It was with a film produced by Harvey Weinstein, fallen magnate of Hollywood, that Penelope Cruz won his Oscar. One year after the start of the scandal, the Spanish actress claims never to have been personally harassed by the producer and to have been unaware of his actions.

“Thank you Harvey Weinstein,” launched Penelope Cruz on the night of 2009, after receiving the Best Supporting Actress Award in ” Vicky Cristina Barcelona, ” directed by Woody Allen, another personality in the #meToo motion viewer.

Since then, Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexual abuse by a hundred women. He refutes all these charges of harassment and assault, but has been formally charged with rape. And his company went bankrupt after the scandal that broke out on October 5, 2017.

“Harvey was a tough guy, we all knew it. We had lively discussions of a professional nature, but I never found myself in other situations, never, ” AFPPenelope Cruz told a telephone interview.

The list of stars accusing Harvey Weinstein of abuse is long: Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rose McGowan, Lea Seydoux, Rosanna Arquette, Cara Delevingne … Salma Hayek too, great friend of Penelope Cruz, accuses this “monster” of the having sexually harassed and threatened with violence because she was pushing him away.

The 44-year-old Spanish actress fell from the clouds as she read the testimony of her “sister” in the New York Times last December.

“You can not blame a friend for not telling you at that time,” said Penelope Cruz today.

When the first charges came out, she said she was “astonished and deeply saddened”. According to her, Weinstein had always been “respectful” with her and she had never “witnessed such behavior” on her part.

This does not prevent Almodovar’s protege from showing solidarity with the victims of harassment, those of Weinstein or others, because she insists that the phenomenon goes far beyond the small medium of the cinema.

“I think I must also speak for women who are not in the public service. Cleaning women or teachers, doctors, lawyers, women to whom no one tends to micro, “she told AFP .

“We can not say that everything is solved”, but “what is spread is so huge” that it marks “the beginning of a change,” says the actress, who predicts “a long struggle “.

“It is not a conflict of women against men, it is necessary that men and women fight together to achieve equality”, adds Penelope Cruz, who was recently in Los Angeles for the promotion of the film ” Escobar “, already released in Europe, but not yet in the United States.

She plays alongside Javier Bardem, her husband since 2010, Spanish and Oscar winner just like her. If the actor considers very important #MeToo and the other movements to fight violence against women, it also warns against the risks of “media lynching”.

“We have to be careful what we do,” he told AFP . Because when a charge has been made publicly, “the person is considered guilty” without being given “the opportunity to protest his innocence”.

“I think that now, people, both men and women, are much more aware” of the problems of harassment, says Javier Bardem. He recognizes, however, that “a long way remains to be done”.

He also won his Oscar with a film produced by Harvey Weinstein, ” No Country for Old Men “, of the Cohen brothers, a year before his wife.