On the day that Harvey Weinstein’s trial for rape was supposed to have started in New York City before being postponed, the much accused producer’s team Monday tried to damn Gwyneth Paltrow in the court of public opinion for her role in his downfall.
“Gwyneth Paltrow comes from Hollywood royalty,” a spokesperson for Weinstein told Deadline today after more details of the Shakespeare in Love star’s role in coming forward were unveiled by New York Times reporters and She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement authors Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor.
“Her father was a top producer, her mother a famous actor, her godfather is Steven Spielberg,” Weinstein’s rep offered of Paltrow, who was one of the first Hollywood stars to go public with being harassed or assaulted by Weinstein after the initial NYT exposé broke on October 5, 2017. “She didn’t need to make movies with Harvey Weinstein; she wanted to, and she won top awards and was the top paid female actor for nearly a decade, with Weinstein.”
“Her narrative of her job being at stake is just gratuitous,” the rep concludes in a swipe at Paltrow’s statement about being scared of the producer after he told her in the mid-1990s not to speak to anyone about his deflected attempts to get her join him for a massage and possibly more.
Representatives for Paltrow did not respond to a request from Deadline to comment on the She Said details and Weinstein’s reaction. However, in the past she has been very open about her involvement with the producer and the fallout she felt would hit her.
“I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” Paltrow told Kantor and Rachel Abrams in an October 10, 2017 published piece about Weinstein’s efforts both to harass and silence her. “I thought he was going to fire me,” the Iron Man regular asserted after then-boyfriend Brad Pitt confronted Weinstein and the producer seemingly strong-armed the future Oscar winner to keep quiet.
Having broke the Weinstein story nearly two years ago and with a resulting 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, relative Hollywood neophytes Kantor and Twohey have She Said coming out tomorrow. Although it now lacks the peg of the kickoff of the criminal trial that could see Weinstein in prison for the rest of his life if found guilty, the authors and the book are still attracting attention on the page and on camera.
Full of new details and examination of the inner workings of The Weinstein Company, the relationship between brothers Harvey and Bob over the former’s incessant vile behavior, more victims and the acolytes and attorneys who provided perpetuation of Weinstein’s decades of abuse, She Said is currently No. 9 on Amazon’s bestseller list. For point of reference, Margaret Atwood’s September 10-released The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale is No. 1 and former Trump Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ September 3-released Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead is No. 2.
Coming off excerpts and info from She Said over the weekend, Kantor and Twohey took to the small screen this morning to discuss their work, the boom and Paltrow.
“Gwyneth Paltrow was one of Harvey’s biggest stars,” Twohey told Savannah Guthrie on Today earlier Monday. “He had really kind of presented himself as kind of godfather to her over the years,” the journalist noted, as you can see and hear in the video clip below:
“Gwyneth [Paltrow] was actually one of the first people to get on the phone and she was determined to help this investigation even when Harvey Weinstein showed up to a party at her house early and she was sort of forced to hide in the bathroom.” –@mega2e pic.twitter.com/cDizgIn3V7
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 9, 2019
“So, I think many people will be surprised to discover that when so many other actresses were reluctant to get on the phone and scared to tell the truth about what they had experienced at his hands, that Gwyneth was actually one of the first people to get on the phone, and that she was determined to help this investigation,” Twohey stated. “Even when Harvey Weinstein showed up to a party at her house early, and she was sort of forced to hide in a bathroom.”
“There’s this crazy scene in the book where she’s hiding in her own bathroom calling you guys saying ‘What do I do? He’s here,’ ” Guthrie injected. “I think Harvey Weinstein was extremely aware and extremely scared of what the implications would be if his biggest star ended up going on the record,” Twohey declared.
She Said looks to be far from the last word on Weinstein, the Hollywood and legal cover-ups and the rise of the #MeToo movement that was emerged from the revelations. Among others, fellow 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service winner Ronan Farrow has a book of his own based on his New Yorker reporting coming out in October.
Of course, as Ashley Judd and other pursue civil cases, the real next act will be Weinstein’s criminal trial. Delayed on several occasions already, the drama in the courtroom of Empire State Supreme Court Justice James Burke is now scheduled to start on January 6, 2020, almost two and a half years after Kantor and Twohey’s first story on Weinstein broke.
Weinstein was first arrested in late May 2018 on two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and one count each of first-degree rape and third-degree rape. Subject to travel restrictions reinforced last August 7, the 67-year-old Oscar-winning producer is out on $1 million bail after entering a not guilty plea on July 9 last year.
Following new charges being introduced by the office Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr’s office last month, Justice Burke agreed with prosecutors to consolidate the claims. Weinstein now faces two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of first-degree criminal sexual act, one count of first-degree rape and one count of third-degree rape.
Accused by Judd in a now temporarily halted case and failing to get a sex-trafficking class action tossed out, Weinstein is also facing allegations from more than 60 women that he sexually assaulted or sexually harassed them. In that vein, Weinstein is under investigation by federal prosecutors as well as probes by the Manhattan D.A.’s office, the NYPD, the LAPD and more globally.
Additionally, a so-called $44 million “global settlement” announced in May over the claims of dozens of women against Weinstein seems to have disappeared in a howl of dust after various accusers became publicly upset over the hefty sums being paid out to lawyers and other reps for the now defunct board of the bankrupt The Weinstein Company.