Jennifer Esposito Claims A “Harvey Weinstein-esque” Producer Attempted To Kill Her Career When She Was Just 26

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Jennifer Esposito is looking back on the early moments of her work, and shedding light on a producer who she says attempted to squash her career.

On last Wednesday’s (June 12) episode of Emily Tisch Sussman’s She Pivots podcast, the 51-year-old actress recalled a “notorious, brutal producer” whom she encountered when she was 26, referring to him as “Harvey Weinstein-esque type person,” per Entertainment Weekly.

“He literally had the power and used it to completely end a young girl’s career at 26 years old,” she reflected. “So he fired me for no reason. He wanted someone else and he got her. But then anybody that called and was like, ‘Hey, I want to hire her.’ He was like, ‘Don’t hire her.’”

The Blue Bloods star claimed that said producer, whom she did not identify on the podcast, told people she was a “drug addict” and “locked herself” in her trailer, allegations that Esposito denied.

“That was a really, really painful time because he literally — that kid, who was waiting tables and that kid who had this dream since she was a baby — he literally took it, because he could, and killed it,” she alleged.

She continued, “I got dropped by my agency. And they were like, ‘We know what he did, but we can’t help you because he’s who he is, and he’s that big, and we have to have clients that work for him. So I casually got moved to the desk of the assistant, and then casually out the door, and I couldn’t get work. I didn’t have an agent [and] I didn’t have a manager for two and a half years.”

Per IMDb, Esposito’s on-screen career began around 1996, when she appeared in a TV movie titled The Sunshine Boys, as well as an episode of Law & Order. Nonetheless, she remained optimistic, highlighting during her podcast appearance that “it was a hard time, but it was also a beautiful time.”

“If I wasn’t that kid, I would have never been this woman,” she said. “I’m very proud of who I am and very proud of what I’ve done.”

She even said she “know[s] for a fact that if that didn’t happen” and if her “road was easier,” she “would have never written and directed” her new crime drama Fresh Kills, which hit theaters last Friday (June 14). The film, which Esposito also stars in, currently boasts a 98% audience score and 89% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Because, as I’ve said to a few people that know me well, Fresh Kills, my film was for the 26-year-old kid who got slaughtered,” she shared. “I gave her her career back in the way that she could do it, not the way that someone else told me I could do it.”

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