The allegations against ousted movie mogul Harvey Weinstein continue to build—following a damning exposé published by The New York Times on his alleged history of sexual misconduct, three women, including writer/director/actress Asia Argento, have come forward with sexual assault allegations in a New Yorker piece by Ronan Farrow. It’s as discomfiting a read as it is enlightening, factoring in the alleged support network made up of executives, casting agents, and producers who enabled Weinstein.
The Times’ Jodi Kantor, who co-wrote last week’s investigative piece with Megan Twohey, and Rachel Abrams have just published the accounts of seven actresses who claim to have been sexually harassed by Weinstein, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. Paltrow, who first met Weinstein after being cast in Emma, describes a by now all-too-familiar scene, in which the studio head invited her up to his hotel room, where he touched her and tried to convince her to give him a massage. Paltrow refused, after which she says Weinstein “screamed at me for a long time. It was brutal.” Her fears of having her career ruined long since gone, Paltrow is now speaking out to help others like her 22-year-old self: “This way of treating women ends now.”
Angelina Jolie, who starred in the Miramax-distributed Playing By Heart, wrote in an email that she “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.” Echoing Paltrow’s (and billions of other women’s) sentiments, Jolie wrote “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
Rosanna Arquette, who’s part of an acting family, says she was also invited to a hotel room where Weinstein, in a bathrobe, asked for a massage before trying to put her hand on his crotch. “Rosanna, you’re making a big mistake,” Weinstein allegedly told her, bragging about “famous actresses he supposedly slept with.” Psychology professor Tomi-Ann Roberts recalled the time when, as a 20-year-old aspiring actress, Weinstein tried to get her to do an informal “topless” audition in his hotel bathroom, where he sat naked in the bathtub. Fellow actresses Katherine Kendall, Judith Godrèche, and Dawn Dunning all tell similarly disturbing stories about Weinstein trying to leverage opportunities for sexual favors, which you can read (assuming you can stomach any more of this today) here.
Weinstein has responded to the latest crop of allegations via his spokesperson Sallie Hofmeister, who issued the following statement.
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. He will not be available for further comments, as he is taking the time to focus on his family, on getting counseling and rebuilding his life.