Nine women have accused Hollywood manager Vincent Cirrincione of unwanted sexual advances over a period of two decades, telling the Washington Post that the man so closely associated with the careers of Halle Berry and Taraji P. Henson used, as WaPo reports, his reputation “as an important gatekeeper for black actresses” to “prey upon young women of color seeking an entry into Hollywood.”
The nine women in the WaPo article include eight African Americans and one Asian American. One of the women, Tamika Lamison, says she was a 27-year-old New York stage actress in 1996 when an audition with Cirrincione ended when he grabbed her, kissed her and said he’d accept her as a client in exchange for sex. Lamison pushed him away and left.
Three of the women say he demanded sex as a condition for representing them and, when they refused, he did not take them as clients. A fourth, according to the Post, said Cirrincione offered to advance her career for monthly sex, and a fifth said he masturbated in front of her “in his office during the years he managed her.”
The allegations of inappropriate conduct span 1993 to 2011.
In a statement to the Post, Cirrincione said:
“We live in a time where men are being confronted with a very real opportunity to take responsibility for their actions. I support this movement wholeheartedly. I have had female clients and employees my entire career in this industry. I have built a reputation for advancing the careers of women of color.
“I have had affairs while in committed relationships, ones I am now ashamed to say are coming to light and shading my past and my reputation. I can say without a doubt that I have never used favors, sexual or otherwise, as a reason for managing anyone. I want to make it clear that not one of those relationships were anything but consensual.
“I take responsibility for my part in the situation and I am not here to diminish anyone’s feelings or experiences. I apologize to these women, my past and present partner, my clients and employees for the pain this is bringing them. I was under the impression I was living my life as a supportive man to women. It is with a heavy heart that I see now I was wrong.”
None of the nine women make accusations of rape or other criminal allegations. Six chose not to have their names published. The women told the Post that they had stayed silent for years for fear of career repercussions.
Berry, a Time’s Up supporter, ended her professional relationship with Cirrincione three years ago, and tells the Post she cut ties with him after learning of a misconduct allegation.
“Over three years ago, a woman was on the radio saying that Halle Berry’s manager was her worst casting couch experience ever. That news literally stopped me in my tracks. I immediately confronted Vince about it, and he denied it completely. But even with his denial, something didn’t feel right in my spirit, and with the possibility that it could be true, I immediately ended our over-25-year relationship.”
Berry said the manager had never made an inappropriate gesture toward her. She met Cirrincione in 1988 through one of his clients.
On Friday, Berry posted a statement on Instagram. You can read it below.
Proud Mary star Henson has been managed by Cirrincione for two decades, and told the Post that she “has never heard of nor witnessed any inappropriate behavior by Cirrincione toward women.”
“I’ve never had any issue with this on any level,” Henson says in the Post article. “He totally respected me.” She said she has regarded Cirrincione as a “father figure” who would at times pay for her rent, child-care fees and her son’s school tuition when she couldn’t afford to herself.
“He saw a single mother trying to make her dreams come true, and he nurtured that,” Henson said. “He wrote checks and wouldn’t ask for anything in return. It wasn’t coming from a creepy place. If anything, it empowered me. Like this man believes in me. I love him for that.”
The Post reports that Cirrincione has also been Henson’s producing partner, and that Henson’s publicist, Pam Sharp, is Cirrincione’s longtime girlfriend.