Harvey Weinstein accused of 30 years of sexual harassment
Accusations of sexual harassment against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein — the man who gave the world “Django Unchained,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Shakespeare in Love” and TV’s “Project Runway” — fill up a long, sordid list.
Allegations exposed by The New York Times include Weinstein asking women for massages, appearing naked in front of them, promising career help in exchange for sex, masturbating in front of one, and asking others to watch him shower.
On Tuesday, The New Yorker added more serious allegations to that list. During a 10-month investigation, three women told writer Ronan Farrow that Weinstein raped them, “allegations that include Weinstein forcibly performing or receiving oral sex and forcing vaginal sex,” Farrow wrote.
Italian actress and director Asia Argento, who accuses Weinstein of forcibly performing oral sex on her, told Farrow she never spoke out until now because she was afraid the mogul would “crush” her.
Farrow also reported that in “an audio recording captured during a New York Police Department sting operation in 2015 and made public here for the first time, Weinstein admits to groping a Filipina-Italian model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, describing it as behavior he is ‘used to.’”
The Times noted that accounts of Weinstein’s conduct over the years share a common narrative.
“Women reported to a hotel for what they thought were work reasons, only to discover that Mr. Weinstein, who has been married for most of three decades, sometimes seemed to have different interests,” the Times reported.
In the decades examined by the Times, Weinstein reached at least eight settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment, according to the newspaper. Most signed confidentiality clauses prohibiting them from speaking publicly.
Weinstein was fired Sunday from his namesake company, which he co-founded, by the board of directors.
Since the Times story broke, Weinstein has publicly acknowledged that the way he’s behaved with colleagues in the past “has caused a lot of pain,” and he has threatened to sue the Times. One representative said “many of the accusations” are “patently false.”
Here are some of the allegations lodged against him.
▪ Twenty years ago Weinstein invited actress Ashley Judd to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for what she thought was a business breakfast meeting in the lobby, Judd told the Times. When she found out they were meeting in his suite she ordered cereal, she said, so she could eat quickly and leave.
When she got to the room Weinstein was wearing a bathrobe. He asked whether he could give her a massage. She said no. How about a shoulder rub? She declined that, too.
Then, Judd told the Times, he asked whether she would watch him take a shower.
“I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask,” Judd told the newspaper. “It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.”
Feeling “panicky, trapped,” and trying to escape without insulting the powerful Weinstein, she joked that if Weinstein wanted to touch her she would first have to win an Oscar in one of his movies.
“Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly,” Judd told the Times.
▪ In 1997 “Charmed” star Rose McGowan was 23 and had just starred in the hit horror flick “Scream.” Something happened between her and Weinstein in a hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival that year that resulted in a $100,000 settlement, according to the Times.
Legal documents reviewed by the newspaper said the agreement was “not to be construed as an admission.”
Last week, after the Times story came out, McGowan told one Twitter follower she donated her “settlement” with Weinstein to a rape crisis center.
On Sunday, McGowan posted a photo of herself taken in March 1997 at the Independent Spirit Awards in Los Angeles, two months after the alleged incident at Sundance.
“This is the girl that was hurt by a monster. This is who you are shaming with your silence,” she wrote with the photo, a jab at how silent much of Hollywood remained about the Times report.
Last October, McGowan shared on Twitter that she had been sexually assaulted by a “studio head” and that at least one person warned that her allegation would go nowhere.
“A (female) criminal attorney said because I’d done a sex scene in a film I would never win against the studio head #WhyWomenDontReport ... because it’s been an open secret in Hollywood/Media & they shamed me while adulating my rapist #WhyWomenDontReport,” she tweeted.
▪ On Friday, the day after the Times story broke, 44-year-old British actress and Tony nominee Jessica Hynes tweeted about an uncomfortable encounter with Weinstein.
“I was offered a film role at 19, Harvey Weinstein came on board and wanted me to screen test in a bikini. I refused & lost the job,” she wrote.
She added: “I’m sure there are many more ...”
▪ In the early 1990s, at hotels in London and Dublin, Weinstein asked employee Laura Madden to massage him, the Times reported.
One time, she locked herself in the bathroom of one of his hotel rooms and cried, she confided to a friend.
“It was so manipulative,” Madden told the Times. “You constantly question yourself — am I the one who is the problem?”
▪ On Friday, Lauren Sivan, a former Fox News reporter, told HuffPost that in 2007 Weinstein trapped her in the hallway of a restaurant and masturbated in front of her.
Sivan, a local New York reporter at the time, said she feared what would happen if she spoke publicly about it.
The incident happened at a Cuban-themed club and restaurant in Manhattan where Weinstein was an investor.
Weinstein asked Sivan to join him on a tour of the restaurant downstairs, she described to HuffPost. When they got to the kitchen Weinstein dismissed two employees who were there, then leaned in to kiss Sivan.
She rejected him, she said, telling him she had a long-term boyfriend. “Well, can you just stand there and shut up,” he allegedly told her.
As they stood in a vestibule between the kitchen and restrooms, Weinstein exposed himself and began to masturbate, Sivan alleges. She stood frozen in shock, she said. She told HuffPost Weinstein ejaculated quickly into a potted plant, zipped up his pants and walked back into the kitchen.
He called her at work the next day, she said, and told her he “had a great time last night.”
▪ After the Times story came out, model Zoe Brock, 43, wrote a post for Medium about how she met Weinstein 20 years ago as a young model when he lured her to a hotel room in France and stripped down in front of her.
She called it being “Harveyed.”
“Harvey left the room, but not for long,” she wrote. “He re-emerged naked a couple of minutes later and asked if I would give him a massage. Panicking, in shock, I remember weighing up the options and wondering how much I needed to placate him to keep myself safe.
“He asked if I would like a massage instead, and for a second I thought this might be a way to give him an inch without him taking a mile.”
She wrote that he chased her around the room, his privates exposed, and banged on the door of the bathroom when she hid there. Not finding anything in the bathroom to help defend herself, she decided to talk her way out.
“This is unacceptable. Put your clothes on you naughty, naughty boy,” she allegedly told him.
When she came out of the bathroom, she said, Weinstein was sitting on the bed with his robe on, crying.
“You don’t like me because I’m fat,” he allegedly told her.
She was furious and demanded that he get her home.
▪ Former colleagues told the Times that Zelda Perkins, then a 25-year-old assistant for the Weinstein Co. in London, confronted Weinstein in the fall of 1998 about how he treated women.
She complained that she and several co-workers had to deal with inappropriate requests or comments in hotel rooms. She told Weinstein to stop or she would go public, or sue him.
The Times reported that a lawyer was dispatched to London to negotiate a settlement. Neither the lawyer or Perkins would talk to the newspaper about the incident.
▪ Eight women described to the Times how Weinstein acted with them in hotel rooms.
According to the Times, employees were called on to perform “turndown duty” for the mogul — getting him out of bed in the morning, getting him ready for bed at night.
Eight women told the newspaper that Weinstein would appear nearly or fully naked in front of them, ask them to be present while he bathed and repeatedly ask for a massage. The women were typically in their early or mid 20s and hoping to break into show business.
One woman told a colleague to wear a parka when she was around Weinstein to protect her from unwanted advances, the Times reported.