Part of the gut-churning strangeness surrounding Hollywood’s ongoing Harvey Weinstein scandal is how quickly it’s become clear that Weinstein’s alleged abuses really were an “open” secret; it’s now apparent that a lot of people knew what “Harvey” was like around women, and almost none of them said anything (outside of a handful of inside-baseball jokes) across years of painful encounters, awkward meetings, and outright (alleged) assault. Which is what makes the following clip of Courtney Love at the 2005 Comedy Central Roast Of Pamela Anderson so striking: Not only does she try, in plain English, to warn women away from Weinstein’s grasp, but she’s also very clearly nervous—an emotion we don’t typically associate with Love’s public persona—to be doing so.
The moment came during a red carpet bit, as comedian Natasha Leggero asks Love if she has any advice for young women moving to Hollywood. Love clearly hesitates for a moment, noting, “I’ll get libeled if I say it…” but then rapidly plunges into a piece of what would later prove to be very good advice: “If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party at the Four Seasons, don’t go.”
Love—who was blasted during the 2005 event with jokes about her sobriety and stability—says she ended up paying dearly for that five seconds of blunt honesty. She tweeted earlier today that powerful Hollywood talent agency CAA “eternally banned” her for speaking out against Weinstein, an outcome that sheds a little more light on why so many famous men and women may have let his open secret stay secret for so long.