Salma Hayek ''didn't expect'' to receive a ''huge'' reaction when she accused Harvey Weinstein of sexually harassing her.

The 51-year-old actress claimed in a New York Times article in December that the disgraced producer had harassed her numerous times throughout their longstanding working relationship, and has now said she had no idea her story would gain the attention that it did.

She said: ''It was not what I expected. I never thought that one article in the New York Times would be one of the most read stories of the year. It was huge. Many people said they were moved by it. I was quite shocked.''

And Salma believes that because Hollywood is starting to change its behaviour when it comes to sexual misconduct, she is ''excited for humanity'', as she believes other important issues can be addressed now that people know change is possible.

Speaking to The Wrap, she said: ''Not only because it's about time ... I see there is a new collective consciousness beginning to come out of this. Also because it gives me hope for many other subjects. We see that the change can happen. I'm very excited about it for women but not only for women. I am excited for humanity. Through us there will come many answers to many other subjects that have been not resolved.''

At the end of last year, the 'Frida' actress claimed Weinstein had sexually harassed her on the set of the 2002 movie, when he allegedly demanded the actress do a sex scene with another woman with full-frontal nudity.

After the article was published, Weinstein's spokesperson denied ''all of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma'', although he did admit to ''boorish behaviour.''

Salma also previously revealed she felt too ashamed by what had allegedly happened to come forward, as she didn't want her 10-year-old daughter Valentina to know.

She said: ''[The New York Times] contacted me to be a part of the first story and already by this contact, there was all this turmoil and I started crying when they asked and I ended up not doing it. And then I felt ashamed that I was a coward. I was supporting women for two decades but I couldn't do this ... I thought of my daughter ... I thought of the shame.

''When it came out, then I was ashamed that I didn't speak up and then when so many women came out, it was a strange sensation. I felt like my pain was so small [compared to others]. I thought, 'There's no point for me to talk because it happens to everyone.'''