As expected, The New York Times published an exposé about how movie mogul and Miramax/Weinstein Company founder Harvey Weinstein is allegedly a serial sexual harasser who has been using his power to creep on and prey on women for nearly three decades. This will come as the opposite of shocking to anyone who has followed the not-so-secret gross adventures of Harvey’s casting couch. The Times spoke to several actresses and former employees, and painted Harvey as a white Bill Cosby sans the whole “drugging” thing.
Most of Harvey’s alleged victims told Times’ reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey a similar story. Harvey invited them to his hotel room for what they thought was a business meeting, but instead of talking business, they found their eyeballs retreating deeper into their skull by the sight of him in a bathrobe. Harvey would ask them for a massage or ask them to watch him shower.
Many of the women wanted to remain anonymous, but not Ashley Judd. A couple of years ago, Ashley told the story of a Hollywood mogul who sexually harassed her. She didn’t name names until now. While filming 1997’s Kiss the Girls, Ashley was invited to Harvey’s hotel room for a breakfast meeting. She had been filming all night, but since Harvey Weinstein is Harvey Weinstein, she felt like she couldn’t miss the meeting and went. It wasn’t a meeting so much as a trap to get Ashley’s hands on his Hutt body. Ashley was able to get out of the room by joking that he can touch her when she wins an Oscar for being in a Miramax movie.
After arriving at the hotel lobby, she was surprised to learn that they would be talking in his suite; she decided to order cereal, she said, so the food would come quickly and she could leave.
Mr. Weinstein soon issued invitation after invitation, she said. Could he give her a massage? When she refused, he suggested a shoulder rub. She rejected that too, she recalled. He steered her toward a closet, asking her to help pick out his clothing for the day, and then toward the bathroom. Would she watch him take a shower? she remembered him saying.
“I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask,” Ms. Judd said. “It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.”
To get out of the room, she said, she quipped that if Mr. Weinstein wanted to touch her, she would first have to win an Oscar in one of his movies. She recalled feeling “panicky, trapped,” she said in the interview. “There’s a lot on the line, the cachet that came with Miramax.”
Ashley went on to be in two Weinstein Company movies, and said that Harvey didn’t pull that grossness on her again. Ashley said that she’s speaking about it now, because so many women in the industry have been talking about him behind closed doors and it’s time to talk about him publicly.
Former employees told the Times that Harvey’s acts of harassment were so widely known in the office that some young female employees would wear parkas to private meetings with him because it gave them another layer of protection against him. Others would go to private meetings with him in pairs.
The Times found that Harvey has paid out settlements to at least 8 women who accused him of sexual harassment. One of the women he settled with was reportedly Rose McGowan, who last year claimed that a studio head raped her. Harvey and Rose apparently settled in 1997. Rose didn’t want to talk about Harvey Weinstein with the Times.
One of Harvey’s attorneys, Lisa Bloom, who usually represents the alleged victims, said that most of the statements made in the Times’ piece are lies wrapped in lies. Harvey’s also planning to sue The New York Times. But in a statement to the Times, 65-year-old Harvey apologized for causing pain to employees, and also announced that he’s taking a leave of absence.
I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.
I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.
I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed. I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.
Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons. Over the last year I’ve asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me and she’s put together a team of people. I’ve brought on therapists and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on. I so respect all women and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more. Jay Z wrote in 4:44 “I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.” The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn’t an overnight process. I’ve been trying to do this for 10 years and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them.
I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom and I won’t disappoint her.
You’re probably not reading this part, because both of your eyeballs rolled straight out of your head when he quoted Jay-Z. Although, there’s a very good chance your eyeballs rolled out of your head way before that, like when he farted up the “Mad Men” defense. Harvey has gone through his adult life not knowing that sexual harassment is bad.
“I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when it was perfectly normal for a businessman to hold a meeting in his shower and ask his assistant to take notes on his dick using suds. How was I to know it’s not okay to do that anymore?!”
If dumbass really wanted people to think he was stuck in the 60s, he should’ve quoted Sinatra, not Jay-Z.