Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie Accuse Weinstein Of Harassment As Fresh Allegations Emerge

More shocking allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Hollywood megaproducer Harvey Weinstein emerged on Tuesday when the New Yorker and the New York Times published more accounts of harassment, rape and coercion from a group of women that includes two of the most famous actresses in Hollywood.

In a follow-up piece to its original bombshell report, the New York Times published on-the-record accounts from Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, who described how Weinstein isolated them and made advances or unwanted sexual contact, which they said they rejected.

The encounters they recalled followed a similar narrative: First, they said, Mr. Weinstein lured them to a private place to discuss films, scripts or even Oscar campaigns. Then, the women contend, he variously tried to initiate massages, touched them inappropriately, took off his clothes or offered them explicit work-for-sex deals.

Yet even after becoming famous, A-list stars, both actresses felt the need to keep their experiences to themselves. Weinstein even berated Paltrow after being confronted by her then-boyfriend, actor Brad Pitt. At the time, she was 22 and had just received a breakout role in a Weinstein-produced film.

Even as Ms. Paltrow became known as the “first lady of Miramax” and won an Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love” in 1999, very few people knew about Mr. Weinstein’s advances. “I was expected to keep the secret,” she said.

Jolie said Weinstein made unwanted advances toward her during the release of “Playing by Heart” in the late 1990s, in a hotel room, which she rejected.  

“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,” Ms. Jolie said in an email. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”

In one of the most searing accounts from the dozens of woman who have now shared their stories with either the New York Times or the New Yorker, actress Katharine Kendall  described an incident where she accompanied Weinstein back to his house, where he disrobed and “chased her around the living room.”

“He literally chased me,” she said. “He wouldn’t let me pass him to get to the door.”

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In an another alarming disclosure, the New Yorker has published the accounts of three additional women who claim that Weinstein raped them.

But perhaps the most sickening account of Weinstein’s misdeeds comes directly from the man himself. The New Yorker also published an audio recording where Weinstein can be heard acknowledging that he groped Model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.

Here’s the stomach-turning recording, in which Weinstein acknowledges that he’s “used to that” – referring to his grope of Gutierrez – and can be heard berating Gutierrez for “embarrassing him” by not wanting to accompany him to his hotel room.

The recording was made as part of a sting operation planned by the New York Police Department in 2015 that never came to pass. Instead, Manhattan Attorney General Cyrus Vance Jr. dropped the investigation. He later received a $10,000 campaign contribution from Weinstein's attorney, David Boies.

The New York Post had hinted at the New Yorker expose when it reported on Weinstein hiring a phalanx of crisis managers to combat the impending scandal. But it offered no indication of the harrowing details that would be exposed.

The reporter, former MSNBC host Ronan Farrow spoke with 16 woman who’d been either raped, groped or otherwise harassed and exploited by Weinstein. In the course of his reporting, Farrow formulated an image of a man who never hesitated to use threats or coercion to coax sexual favors from actresses and models in his orbit.

Sixteen former and current executives and assistants at Weinstein’s companies told me that they witnessed or had knowledge of unwanted sexual advances and touching at events associated with Weinstein’s films and in the workplace. They and others describe a pattern of professional meetings that were little more than thin pretexts for sexual advances on young actresses and models. All sixteen said that the behavior was widely known within both Miramax and the Weinstein Company. Messages sent by Irwin Reiter, a senior company executive, to Emily Nestor, one of the women who alleged that she was harassed at the company, described the “mistreatment of women” as a serial problem that the Weinstein Company was struggling with in recent years. Other employees described what was, in essence, a culture of complicity at Weinstein’s places of business, with numerous people throughout the companies fully aware of his behavior but either abetting it or looking the other way. Some employees said that they were enlisted in subterfuge to make the victims feel safe. A female executive with the company described how Weinstein assistants and others served as a “honeypot”—they would initially join a meeting, but then Weinstein would dismiss them, leaving him alone with the woman.

In a passage that lays bare the hypocrisy of Hollywood's liberal elite, one actress claims that Weinstein openly harassed and degraded women while a coterie of industry figures remained purposefully silent.

De Caunes, who was in her early thirties at the time, was already an established actress, but she wondered what would happen to younger and more vulnerable women in the same situation. Over the years, she said, she’s heard similar accounts from friends. “I know that everybody—I mean everybody—in Hollywood knows that it’s happening,” de Caunes said. “He’s not even really hiding. I mean, the way he does it, so many people are involved and see what’s happening. But everyone’s too scared to say anything.”

Weinstein famously was a major fundraiser for Democratic politicians, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In the wake of the scandal, Weinstein was fired Sunday night from the company he founded, though many actresses, actors and other industry figures have been reluctant to speak out against the onetime industry powerhouse, whose 30-year career including producing hit independent movies like “Pulp Fiction” and “Sex, Lies and Videotape.”

However, at least one prominent political figure is finally speaking out...

...and perhaps the latest string of allegations will loosen some lips.