The allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein have been never-ending since The New York Times published their exposé last Thursday. Lots of people have spoken up, some to condemn, or say they were unaware of the rumors. Harvey Weinstein was one of the first people Gwyneth Paltrow thanked when she won an Oscar back in 1999, so I kind of kept expecting to see her release some kind of statement about this ugly mess with Harvey. Instead of a statement, Gwyneth, as well as others like Angelina Jolie, went to The New York Times and The New Yorker with awful stories of their own.
We’ll start with Gwyneth’s first. When Gwyneth was 22, Harvey Weinstein hired her for the 1996 film Emma, distributed by Miramax. Before shooting began, Gwyneth alleges that Harvey arranged for a work meeting in his suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel. The meeting started innocently enough, but allegedly ended with Harvey putting his hands on her shoulders and suggesting they move to his bedroom for massages. Gwyneth says of the alleged sexual harassment:
“I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified.”
Gwyneth says she refused the massage and got out of there fast, adding that she was completely shocked it happened, because she saw “Uncle Harvey” as a mentor. The meeting with Harvey in his hotel room never seemed weird to Gwyneth, because it was professionally arranged and the details faxed from Creative Artists Agency.
Gwyneth told a few people about what allegedly happened, including her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt. Brad didn’t take the news well; Gwyneth says Brad confronted Harvey at a movie premiere about what allegedly happened in the hotel suite. (Brad confirmed Gwyneth’s story to the Times through his rep). Gwyneth says Harvey responded to Brad’s threat by calling her up and tearing a strip off her for ratting him out.
Soon after, the producer threatened her not to tell anyone else about his come-on. “I thought he was going to fire me,” she said. “He screamed at me for a long time. It was brutal.”
Despite Harvey being an alleged creep to her and giving her more work, like her Oscar-winning role in Shakespeare in Love, Gwyneth says she was expected to “keep the secret.” But she’s done keeping his secret now, because “women need to send a clear message that this is over.”
Angelina Jolie’s story is much shorter, but is still just as gross. Angelina claims that in 1998, around the release of the film Playing by Heart (released by Miramax), Harvey allegedly tried to put the moves on a 23-year-old Angelina in his hotel room.
“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. This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
Oh, but it gets worse. The New Yorker published Ronan Farrow’s rumored exposé today. Ronan also got a few people to go on record regarding their alleged experiences with Harvey Weinstein, including Asia Argento, Rosanna Arquette, and Mira Sorvino. Thirteen women in total allege Harvey came at them with various awful forms of sexual harassment and assault, ranging from unwanted touching to forced sex. Four of the women claim that Harvey has exposed himself of masturbated in front of them. Sixteen former employees or executives of The Weinstein Company and Miramax claim to have witnessed or had knowledge of alleged workplace harassment and assault. Four actresses, including Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette, believe that after they rejected Harvey’s alleged advances, they were deliberately removed from projects.
Rosanna Arquette alleges her experience with Harvey happened in the early 90s, after she was asked to pick up a script from him at the Beverly Hills Hotel. When she arrived, Harvey – wearing a bathrobe – allegedly asked her to massage his neck. When she recommended he call a professional massage therapist, he allegedly grabbed her hand and put it on his crotch. When she pulled away, Rosanna alleges he warned her that she was making “a big mistake.” The part ended up going to someone else.
Asia Argento alleges that about 20 years ago, she went to Harvey’s hotel room in France under the assumption he was hosting a party. Instead, she alleges she found Harvey Weinstein wanting a massage. She claims she reluctantly agreed to give him a massage, which turned into Harvey forcibly performing oral sex on her. It happened, she says, because she was afraid he would “crush” her.
“I was not willing…The thing with being a victim is I felt responsible. Because if I were a strong woman, I would have kicked him in the balls and run away. But I didn’t. And so I felt responsible.”
Her films The Stendhal Syndrome and the film B. Monkey were both released by Miramax in 1996 and 1999, respectively. She says she felt an obligation to Harvey, and that her fear of Harvey crushing her career is why she chose not to speak out until now.
Mira Sorvino alleges that while promoting Mighty Aphrodite in 1995 at the Toronto International Film Festival (a film she too went on to win an Oscar for), Harvey invited her to his hotel room, allegedly started massaging her shoulders, then chased her around the room. Mira says she got out of it by claiming her religion prevents her from sleeping with married men. Harvey allegedly tried to get with her again later in New York, this time at her apartment (he was thwarted by a friend pretending to be Mira’s boyfriend). Mira believes that turning down Harvey so many times ended up hurting her career.
And remember back in 2015 when model Ambra Battilana accused Harvey of groping her, and the police ended up getting involved? The New Yorker has audio of a sting set up by the NYPD’s Special Victims Division. Ambra was asked to wear a wire and meet with Harvey at his Tribeca hotel after she had objected to him allegedly groping her. When she asked why he did it, he reportedly answered:
“Oh, please, I’m sorry, just come on in. I’m used to that. Come on. Please.”
A spokesperson for Harvey Weinstein issued a statement in response to The New Yorker’s piece. Of course Harvey is denying it all, and says everything was consensual.
“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. 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. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”
But don’t close your laptop just yet, Harvey’s spokesperson. I’m sure it won’t be long before you’re forced to type up yet another eye roll-worthy denial.