More and more women are saying that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them.
The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow on Tuesday published the result of a 10-month investigation that included several women going on the record to allege that Weinstein, a Hollywood power player who could make-or-break careers, made unwanted advances, and in some cases, raped them. Soon after, the New York Times published stories of harassment from megastars Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.
These stories follow the first Times bombshell report from Thursday detailing accounts of the movie mogul sexually assaulting actresses and employees. In response to that story, Weinstein issued a bizarre statement citing his coming of “age in the 60’s and 70’s” when workplace culture differed, apologizing for behavior that has caused colleagues “a lot of pain,” and declaring to battle the National Rifle Association. One of his lawyers also threatened to sue the Times.
On Sunday, the movie studio Weinstein co-founded fired the mogul, and Hollywood stars have begun issuing statements since his downfall.
Weinstein “unequivocally denied” any allegations of non-consensual sex and “there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances,” spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said in a statement to the New Yorker. “Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual.”
Farrow wrote, “I was told by thirteen women that, between the nineteen-nineties and 2015, Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them, allegations that corroborate and overlap with the Times’s revelations, and also include far more serious claims.” The publication also posted an exchanged captured on audio, recovered from a 2015 New York police sting operation, in which Weinstein admits to model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez that he groped her as he tries to get her to come into his hotel room. “Oh, please, I’m sorry, just come on in. I’m used to that,” he said. “Come on. Please.” (Gutierrez told the New Yorker she was unable to discuss the incident).
Paltrow would become known as “the first lady of Miramax,” Weinstein’s company at the time, and played the lead in “Shakespeare In Love,” which won the 1999 best picture Oscar, a major upset for Weinstein.
But before then, Weinstein hired a 22-year-old Paltrow to star in “Emma,” which would propel her career. Before shooting, he had her come to his Peninsula hotel room for a work meeting that ended with him putting his hands on her and suggesting massages in the bedroom, Paltrow told the New York Times.
“I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” she said. After refusing, she told her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, who confronted Weinstein. Weinstein then threatened her not to tell anyone else, she said. “I thought he was going to fire me,” she said.
The actress said that in the late 1990s, Weinstein made unwanted advances on her during the release of “Playing by Heart.”
“I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” Jolie said in an email to the Times. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
During the filming of 1997’s “Kiss the Girls,” the actress met Weinstein at a Beverly Hills hotel for breakfast, only to find the meeting would be in his suite. Weinstein asked for a massage, a shoulder rub and for her to watch him shower, Judd told the Times.
“I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask,” Judd said. “It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.” She said she felt “panicky, trapped” and tried to get out by joking that if he wanted to touch her, she’d have to first win an Oscar for one of his movies.
She remembered thinking: “How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?”
Arquette told the New Yorker that in the early 1990s she went to meet Weinstein for dinner at the Beverly Hill Hotel to pick up a script. When she arrived at his room, she said, he opened the door in a bathrobe, said his neck hurt, grabbed her hand and put it on his neck. When she yanked away, he took her hand again and pulled it to his exposed penis.
“My heart was really racing. I was in a fight-or-flight moment,” she told the New Yorker. “I will never do that,” she recalled telling the movie mogul, who then threatened her career and named another actress whose career suffered for refusing his advances.
“Rosanna, you’re making a big mistake,” Weinsteing said, Arquette told the New York Times.
Arquette told the New Yorker that her career suffered. “He made things very difficult for me for years.”
Barth, who plays Tami-Lynn McCafferty in Seth MacFarlane’s “Ted” movies, met Weinstein at a 2011 Golden Globes party, and he invited her to a business meeting, she said. When she arrived at the Peninsula Hotel, he told her by phone to come to his room to “talk career stuff.” Barth said Weinstein had ordered champagne and sushi, offered to cast her in a film and demanded a naked massage. When she refused, he grew angry, and said she needed to loose weight “to compete with Mila Kunis.”
Sorvino won an Oscar for her role in “Mighty Aphrodite,” which was released by Miramax. She told the New Yorker that in 1995, she was promoting the film in Toronto when she ended up in a hotel room with Weinstein. “He started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around,” she said.
Weeks later, she said, he called her late at night, saying he had marketing ideas, and showed up at her apartment. Fearful, she had called a male friend to come over, and although he hadn’t arrived, she told Weinstein that her new boyfriend was on his way over. Dejected, Weinstein left, she said.
When she told a female Miramax employee, the reaction “was shock and horror that I had mentioned it,” the actress said.
In 2014, Weinstein asked the 25-year-old, a temporary front desk assistant at the Weinstein Company, to meet for drinks, and instead she suggested an early morning coffee, as she recalled to the New Yorker. He told her to come to his Beverly Hills hotel, and she “dressed very frumpy” after hearing of his reputation.
For an hour, he offered career advice, then bragged about his sexual encounter with famous actresses, she recalled. “He said, ‘You know, we could have a lot of fun…I could put you in my London office, and you could work there and you could be my girlfriend.'” He also asked to hold her hand, and she said no to both asks.
According to Nestor, Weinstein said, “Oh, the girls always say ‘no.’ You know, ‘No, no.’ And then they have a beer or two and then they’re throwing themselves at me.” She described it as “a pretty clear case of sexual harassment when your superior, the C.E.O., asks one of their inferiors, a temp, to have sex with them, essentially in exchange for mentorship.”
Argento, an Italian film actress and director, told the New Yorker that as a 21-year-old in 1997, she went to a French hotel on the pretext of attending a Miramax party, only to find Weinstein alone in a room. She alleged that he changed into a bathrobe, appeared with a bottle of lotion and asked for a massage. She reluctantly gave him one, and then he forcibly performed oral sex on her, she said.
She said the Miramax co-founded “terrified me, and he was so big…It wouldn’t stop. It was a nightmare.” Farrow wrote, “at some point, Argento said, she stopped saying no and feigned enjoyment, because she thought it was the only way the assault would end. ‘I was not willing,’ she told me. ‘I said, ‘No, no, no.'”
Over the years, Argento did submit to his advances, feeling “obliged,” and had consensual relations with him, saying she knew this would be used to undermine the credibility of her allegation.
Evans, a former aspiring actress, met Weinstein before her senior year in college. Knowing the rumors about his behavior, she agreed only to meet a casting executive for a reading during the day. But when she arrived at Miramax, she was taken to an office with just Weinstein, where he both complimented and demeaned her.
According to her account to the New Yorker, Weinstein said she’d “be great in ‘Project Runway’” if she lost weight, and told her about two other potential scripts for her. Then, Evans said, he forced her to perform oral sex on him.
“I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,’ ” she said. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him…He’s a big guy. He overpowered me.” At a certain point, she said, “I just sort of gave up. That’s the most horrible part of it, and that’s why he’s been able to do this for so long to so many women: people give up, and then they feel like it’s their fault.”
Evans told the New Yorker her encounter with Weinstein deeply affected her: Her schoolwork and relationships suffered, she had an eating problem for years and friends told her to see a therapist “because they thought I was going to kill myself.”
Madden, a former Weinstein employee, told the Times that Weinstein began in 1991 to prod her for massages in Dublin and London hotels. She said that he made any rejection seem abnormal. “It was so manipulative,” she said. “You constantly question yourself — am I the one who is the problem?”
The French actress, in her early 30s at the time, met Weinstein for lunch in 2010 at a Paris hotel. According to her account in the New Yorker, when she had to leave for a TV hosting gig, he insisted she accompany him to his room to get a book that was being adapted to a movie. He then disappeared into the bathroom as she took a call from a colleague, she said.
“When I hung up the phone, I heard the shower go on in the bathroom,” she said. “I was, like, What the f—, is he taking a shower?” He them came out, naked and when she asked “What are you doing?” he told her to lie on his bed, as other women had done.
“I was very petrified,” de Caunes said. “But I didn’t want to show him that I was petrified, because I could feel that the more I was freaking out, the more he was excited.” The actress said Weinstein panicked as she left.
The former aspiring actress is now a psychology professor at Colorado College. When she was just a 20-year-old student waiting tables in 1984, Weinstein, a customer, offered to help her acting career. When she showed up at a meeting in his hotel room to discuss a role, he was naked in the bathtub and said that because her character might play a topless scene, it’d be better for her to get “naked in front of him too,” Roberts told the Times.
She told the Times she apologized while leaving, and that he manipulated her by pretending to actually be interested in her possible acting abilities. “I was nobody! How had I ever thought otherwise?” she asked.
In 1996, the 24-year-old French actress starred in “Ridicule,” which opened the Cannes Film Festival. Weinstein had just acquired the movie and, along with a female Miramax executive, the three had breakfast at a hotel in France. Then the other executive left and Weinstein invited Godrèche to his room to see the view and discuss her movie’s marketing, she told the Times. While in the room, Weinstein asked to give her a massage (saying it was an American custom) and “the next thing I know, he’s pressing against me and pulling off my sweater,” she said. She left, and when she later alerted the female executive, she was told, “This is Miramax. You can’t say anything.”
Kendall told the Times that in 1993, when she was a 23-year-old actress, she attended a daytime screening with Weinstein. Afterwards, he asked her to stop by his apartment to pick something up, and for about an hour the conversation was professional.
Then he returned from the bathroom in a robe and asked for a massage, saying, “Everybody does it.” She refused and he disrobed.
“He literally chased me,” she told the outlet. “He wouldn’t let me pass him to get to the door.” She added: “I just thought to myself: ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this to me. I’m so offended — we just had a meeting.”
In 2003, the 24-year-old Dunning met Weinstein at the nightclub where she waitressed. The executive gave her a Miramax screen test and behaved professionally, she told the Times.
One time, upon arriving at a Manhattan hotel for a meal with Weinstein, she was told his earlier meeting had run late and was instructed to go to his suite, where he was in a bathrobe. He said he had contracts for her to appear in his next three films and she could only sign them if she agreed to have three-way sex with him. Thinking it a joke, she laughed, and he got angry.
“You’ll never make it in this business,” she recounted him saying. “This is how the business works.”