The New Yorker just published an article based on Ronan Farrow’s 10-month investigation into Harvey Weinstein, and it is far more devastating that what the New York Times revealed last Thursday. I am making my way through the article (read it at the New Yorker here), but the story begins with an allegation by the Italian actress-director Asia Argento that 20 years ago, Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her. She is one of three women who told Farrow in the article that Weinstein raped them.
The New Yorker expose takes what had been a litany of unsavory harassment complaints into potential criminal sexual assault territory. Farrow writes he was told by 13 women that Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them, with three claiming rape and four saying they experienced unwanted touching that could be classified as an assault.
The article also outlines the culture that was in place that enabled these encounters to happen. Farrow writes that he got 16 former and current executives and assistants at Weinstein companies who witnessed unwanted sexual advances and touching. One executive described a ritual in which Weinstein assistants would act as a “honeypot,” initially joining a meeting but quickly exiting and leaving the women alone with Weinstein.
One instance involved then-22-year-old model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, whom the New Yorker said Weinstein met in March 2015 at a New York reception for the “New York Spring Spectacular,” a show he was producing at Radio City Music Hall. In a subsequent business meeting at his Tribeca office, she claims Weinstein “lunged at her, groping her breasts and attempting to put a hand up her skirt while she protested,” the magazine said she told the New York Police Department Special Victims Division when she reported the incident. The NYPD and Gutierrez devised a plan where she would wear a wire to his play Finding Neverland he had invited her to attend with him, and the New Yorker report includes audio of their conversation in the hallway of his room at the Tribeca Grand Hotel as Weinstein asked her to come inside while he showered. She refused.
Weinstein has denied the new charges in the New Yorker piece via a spokesperson. “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.”
I will try to get more on this, but if Weinstein was bent on suing the New York Times, the potential career-ending allegations reported in the New Yorker are far more devastating. We will deliver more updates as they come in.
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