Last week, The New York Times exposed film producer Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment towards female employees. On Sunday, the remaining board members of Weinstein Media announced they were terminating his employment immediately. Since then, the list of women who have come forward about his advances towards them seems to be growing by the day, and on Tuesday, actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie told the Times that they too fell victim to the producer’s sleazy ways.
Paltrow told the Times that when she was 22-years-old and had just landed the lead role in Emma, Weinstein asked her to go to his suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel. What began as a work meeting ended in Weinstein “placing his hands on her and suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages,” Paltrow said.
The only person she told was then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, who reportedly confronted Weinstein at a movie premiere. Weinstein then told Paltrow not to tell anyone else. She said she was afraid she was going to get fired.
Angelina Jolie told the Times in an email that in the late 1990s, Weinstein made unwelcome advances towards her, too.
“I 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,” she wrote. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
Other actresses that have confessed to these uncomfortable situations include Ashley Judd, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Katherine Kendall, Dawn Dunning, Judith Godreche, Mira Sorvino, and Rosanna Arquette. The latter two women told The New Yorker that they suspected Weinstein “had them removed from projects or dissuaded people from hiring them,” after they rejected his advances.
The New Yorker published chilling audio of Weinstein aggressively coming on to Brazilian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, one of the women who also spoke to the Times about her unwanted encounters with the producer. She said he groped her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt. She went to the police and managed to record him thanks to an NYPD wiretap, The Guardian reports. In the audio file, Weinstein can clearly be heard saying, “Don’t ruin your friendship with me for five minutes.”
Also according to The New Yorker, 16 current and former executives and assistants at Weinstein’s companies have “witnessed or had knowledge of unwanted sexual advances and touching at events associated with Weinstein’s films and in the workplace.” Three women have come forward with rape allegations, including Italian actress Asia Argento. She said Weinstein raped her when she was 21-years-old at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cannes. What she thought was going to be a party ended up being Weinstein, in a bathrobe, asking her to give him a massage and forcibly performing oral sex on her. She said she didn’t fight him off, felt guilty about it, and called it a “horrible trauma.” She then went on to have consensual sex with him because “she believed he would ruin her career if she didn’t comply.”
The list of women keeps on growing, and now includes Rose McGowan, Cara Delevingne, artist Liza Campbell, former Fox News host Lauren Sivan, Zoe Brock, Emma de Caunes, Romola Garai, and Lucia Evans.
On Monday, Weinstein’s wife of 10 years, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, announced through People magazine that she’s leaving the producer following the allegations. The couple have two young children together, and Weinstein has three from a previous marriage.
“My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions,” she told People. “I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time.”
The announcement comes after Weinstein had initially told The New York Post that Chapman “stands 100 percent behind me.” His exclusive interview with the Post, out last week, was his first after the allegations came through. He is suing The New York Times for $50 million, and blasted them for “inability to be honest with me,” and their “reckless reporting. They told me lies. They made assumptions.” He denounced the Times for basing their story entirely on a 2015 memo by employee Lauren O’Connor, despite her withdrawing her complaint and her claims two days after issuing it.
The memo Weinstein refers to is one cited by the Times in their initial exposé, where O’Connor addressed several executives at Weinstein’s company and called it a “toxic environment for women.” According to the Times, O’Connor’s memo alarmed some Weinstein Company board members, but not enough to drive them to investigate. O’Connor reached a settlement with Weinstein and withdrew her complaint.
Weinstein has since hired the same attorney who won Hulk Hogan’s $140 million settlement against Gawker.
“I have got to change, I’ve got to grow, I’ve got to deal with my personality, I’ve got to work on my temper, I have got to dig deep,” he told the Post. “I know a lot of people would like me to go into a facility, and I may well just do that —I will go anywhere I can learn more about myself. I want to be able to look at the people I have hurt and say, ‘I am sorry, I have changed and I’ve progressed.’ I am terribly embarrassed for my company, my staff and the only person who could fix this is me. I am going to fix myself, I am going to fix how I deal with women and how I deal with my temper and power.”
The Post reports that he is seeing a therapist and is being advised by famed women’s advocate and attorney Lisa Bloom, who represented Blac Chyna during her case against Robert Kardashian Jr.
According to the Center For Sex Offender Management, there is no set of characteristics that describe a sexual offender. There is no sexual offender “profile” by which you can identify them. Sex offenders do, however, share a few common characteristics that you should be on the lookout for.
Problems in the social or interpersonal realm, for example, may be a red flag. Keep an eye out for ineffective communication skills, social isolation, and general social skills deficits. The CSOM reports that experts believe these characteristics have some role in the development of sexually abusive behavior. Victim empathy deficits, or the inability to be empathic in general, may be related to how individuals are able to engage in sexually abusive behavior, but has not been found to predict recidivism, or tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend.
Another sign to look out for is poor coping or self-management skills. This includes difficulties managing their emotions appropriately, being highly impulsive, and not thinking about the consequences of their behaviors before they act. They have difficulty resisting their urges from time to time. CSOM reports that there seems to be a relatively high prevalence of sexual or physical abuse among samples of sex offenders, meaning they themselves may have been victims of physical or sexual abuse. To read more about what to look out for, click here.
If you or someone you know is being sexually harassed in the workplace, it’s important you know your rights. According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII is a federal law. The AAUW recommends consulting your employee handbook for a sexual harassment policy and following it, putting everything in writing and being specific in details. If you feel safe enough to confront the person harassing you, ask them to stop and be specific about what’s bothering you. You must tell a supervisor about the behavior and what you’ve done to address it thus far. You can also take the case to your company’s human resources department.
Furthermore, the AAUW recommends filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You have the right to file a discrimination complaint, and you don’t need an attorney. You do, however, have six months from the date of the discriminatory activity to file a charge. The EEOC will then notify your employer that you’ve filed a charge and will begin an investigation into your complaint. They may attempt to settle your complaint, or possibly refer you and your employer to a mediator. If they’re unable to reach a settlement, and the defendant is a private employer, they may either file a lawsuit in federal court or choose to dismiss the charge. They’ll then issue a notice to you letting you know of your right to sue in court, giving you a “right-to-sue” letter. To read more about the steps you can take, click here.
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