The floodgates have opened as some of Hollywood’s most well-known actresses — Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie — have just told their story to The New York Times in a second wave of reporting that outlines the sexual predatory behavior of former Miramax and TWC head Harvey Weinstein. Secrets long kept hidden because of fear.
Paltrow recounts incidents that happened when she was only 22 years old, at a time when she and Brad Pitt were dating, when the then powerful mogul invited her to the Pennisula in Beverly Hills (right across from CAA), and suggested that they go to his room for a massage. She rebuffed his advances and she subsequently told Pitt who defended her honor to Weinstein. She said she was scared of being fired off the film Emma. “I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” she said in an interview with the Times. After she let it be known, Weinstein called and berated her.
Jolie, who coincidentally also had a long-standing relationship with Pitt, was confronted with similar behavior from Weinstein when she was younger, too, as the film Playing by Heart was releasing into theaters in 1999. She said that she, too, rebuffed his advances in a hotel room. She would have been only 24 at the time.
Others who have spoken up include Rosanna Arquette who also rebuffed Weinstein’s request for a massage which was followed by a veiled threat to her career. Actress Katherine Kendall said she was chased around her hotel room by Weinstein who asked to see her breasts; French actress Judith Godrèche said he suggested they have a massage and he tried to take her clothes off. When she spoke to a female Miramax exec afterward, the woman told her to keep her mouth shut and later she saw her face on the one-sheet of the movie; aspiring actress Tomi-Ann Roberts said he asked her to “audition” while Weinstein was naked in the tub and asked her to take her clothes off; she said no and left the room.
Also disturbing was what actress Dawn Dunning relayed about a meeting with Weinstein in his hotel room to talk about a part. When she arrived, Weinstein was in his bathrobe and told her that she could have parts in his next three films in exchange for having three-way sex with him. She thought he was joking, she said, but he wasn’t, saying to her,” You’ll never make it in this business.”
Weinstein’s rep Sallie Hoffmeister has sent out this 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. 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.”