A New York Times investigation has unveiled decades of sexual harassment accusations and other reported wrongdoings from Harvey Weinstein, one of the most successful film producers of all time.
In a lengthy article published online, journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey outlined decades of alleged sexual harassment and alleged repeated misconduct the film tycoon has been involved in.
According to the investigation, Weinstein has a very clear and well-known modus operandi: he hires young, vulnerable females hoping to break into the industry and uses his influence to take advantage of them.
The New York Times based their investigation on emails, interviews with current and former employees, statements from film industry insiders and documents from his companies Miramax (bought by Disney in 1993) and The Weinstein Co.
Italian model Ambra Battilana and American actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd are among the victims, with the article providing specific examples of Weinstein’s alleged harassment.
“Weinstein invited Ms. Judd to breakfast in Beverly Hills, she had been shooting the thriller ‘Kiss the Girls’ all night, but the meeting seemed too important to miss. After arriving at the hotel lobby, she was surprised to learn that they would be talking in his suite; she decided to order cereal, she said, so the food would come quickly and she could leave.”
“Mr. Weinstein soon issued invitation after invitation, she said. Could he give her a massage? When she refused, he suggested a shoulder rub. She rejected that too, she recalled. He steered her toward a closet, asking her to help pick out his clothing for the day, and then toward the bathroom. Would she watch him take a shower? she remembered him saying.
‘I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask,’ Ms. Judd said. ‘It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.’”
Weinstein responded to the NY Times in a statement on Thursday afternoon, saying “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologise for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”
The whole scandal contrasts sharply with the image of liberal champion he boasts to the general public. Weinstein has been a longtime Democratic donor, and even employed Malia Obama, the oldest daughter of former President Barack Obama, as an intern this year.
Lisa Bloom, former advising lawyer to Weinstein, had said that “he denies many of the accusations as patently false.”
The famed producer has reportedly reached at least eight settlements with women in the past 20 years; settlements which the New York Times says range from $80,000 to $150,000. The whole scandal contrasts sharply with the ‘liberal champion’ image he flaunts in the public eye.
The scandal has quickly muddied the reputation of Weinstein, who has been part of some of the most critically acclaimed and culturally relevant films of the past three decades, including such beloved modern classics as Clerks, Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting and The King’s Speech.
He’s garnered various academy awards throughout his career and has worked with some of the best film directors of all time, including Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Todd Haynes. He was even dubbed one of the most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2012.
You can check out the full investigation here.