A new bombshell from Ronan Farrow and the New Yorker. Remember, NBC could have had all of this.
Farrow heard rumors about an encounter between Weinstein and Sciorra and tried to get her on record for his first Weinstein expose. I don’t know what you’re talking about, she told him when he phoned. Then the piece came out and she called him back. Twenty-five years ago, she said, Weinstein dropped her off at home after a Miramax event. She thanked him, went up to her apartment, got ready for bed. Then came a knock. When she opened the door a crack to see who it was, Weinstein allegedly barged in, began unbuttoning his shirt, and “circled the apartment” to see if anyone else was there. She told him to leave. Nope:
Then Weinstein grabbed her, she said. “He shoved me onto the bed, and he got on top of me.” Sciorra struggled. “I kicked and I yelled,” she said, but Weinstein locked her arms over her head with one hand and forced sexual intercourse on her. “When he was done, he ejaculated on my leg, and on my nightgown.” It was a family heirloom, handed down from relatives in Italy and embroidered in white cotton. “He said, ‘I have impeccable timing,’ and then he said, ‘This is for you.’” Sciorra paused. “And then he attempted to perform oral sex on me. And I struggled, but I had very little strength left in me.” Sciorra said that her body started to shake violently. “I think, in a way, that’s what made him leave, because it looked like I was having a seizure or something.”…
Sciorra said that she felt the impact on her livelihood almost immediately. “From 1992, I didn’t work again until 1995,” she said. “I just kept getting this pushback of ‘We heard you were difficult; we heard this or that.’ I think that that was the Harvey machine.” The actress Rosie Perez, a friend who was among the first to discuss Sciorra’s allegations with her, told me, “She was riding high, and then she started acting weird and getting reclusive. It made no sense. Why did this woman, who was so talented, and riding so high, doing hit after hit, then all of a sudden fall off the map? It hurts me as a fellow-actress to see her career not flourish the way it should have.”
Weinstein denies that any nonconsensual sex happened, as he’s denied all criminal behavior so far, but Perez says she heard about the incident from Sciorra long ago. That wasn’t the last time Weinstein tormented Sciorra either, supposedly. He showed up at her hotel in London in 1995 and began pounding on her door so incessantly, she says, that she pushed furniture in front of it to barricade the entrance. Which, apparently, wasn’t an uncommon thing to do if Big Harv took an interest in you: Actress Daryl Hannah says she had the same experience at a hotel in Cannes, with Weinstein banging on her door to the point that she had to flee the room through an exterior door. It happened again the next night, although this time a make-up artist was in her room with her. The pounding was so loud that they barricaded the door too.
A few years later, the next time Weinstein came for Hannah, he had apparently learned his lesson. If you can’t terrorize someone into opening their door, just open it yourself:
The première was followed by a reception, after which Hannah was in her suite at the Hassler Roma hotel with another hair-and-makeup artist, Steeve Daviault. The two had changed into their pajamas and were sitting on Hannah’s bed with an order of room-service spaghetti, watching a Sophia Loren movie, when Weinstein entered the bedroom. “He had a key,” Hannah recalled. “He came through the living room and into the bedroom. He just burst in like a raging bull. And I know with every fibre of my being that if my male makeup artist was not in that room, things would not have gone well. It was scary.” Daviault remembered the incident vividly. “I was there to keep her safe,” he told me.
Where’d he get the key to her room? Did Weinstein con the front desk into thinking that Hannah wanted him to have it or was this an “arrangement” like the one he reportedly had with the Tribeca Grill, where the wait staff had strict orders to bring Weinstein’s dates whatever drink he ordered for them whether they wanted alcohol or not? A lot of attention is being paid to the web of industry enablers who kept Weinstein’s secrets but not as much is being paid to enablers in the hospitality industry. How many managers and employees at hotels and restaurants patronized by Miramax knew what Weinstein was up to? He brought a lot of glamour and money to their businesses by using them for Hollywood events.
Hannah told Farrow that after the incident in which he barged in on her and her make-up artist, she encountered him in the lobby — and he asked if he could feel her up. When she refused, she says the Miramax private jet back to the U.S. took off without her the next day and her flight to the French premiere of her new film for the company was canceled. Again, same M.O. as Sciorra: If you don’t give Weinstein what he wants, you don’t get what you want. Hannah claims she told “everyone,” including Quentin Tarantino, about what he had done to her. Nothing happened. That was 15 years ago.
As for why Sciorra spoke up now, partly it was to unburden herself after so much time had passed now that Weinstein has lost *some* of his power to silence victims. (But not all. Read Farrow’s piece for more on that.) But partly too, she says, it was because of how horribly Asia Argento was treated in Italy after her own allegations against Weinstein were revealed in Farrow’s first New Yorker piece. Anything Weinstein did short of forcible rape was going to be spun by some as a simple come-on, Sciorra realized, one probably instigated by the woman herself. So, here we are: An accusation of actual, forcible rape. Argento is reportedly staying in Germany now, so hostile is Italian society to her claims against Weinstein.
And what about the lesser media-industry predators like Mark Halperin? He hasn’t been accused of anything as vicious as what Weinstein allegedly did to Sciorra but here’s a charming story from the latest batch of accusations against him:
The woman told CNN that Halperin took her to lunch in Midtown Manhattan. They didn’t talk about her career or jobs at all throughout the lunch, but she assumed that he knew it was why he called and that the topic would be addressed later. At the end of the lunch, after they walked out of the restaurant, she said, she extended her hand for him to shake it. Halperin, she said, had other ideas.
“He put both hands on my arms and threw me against the window of the restaurant hard. So my head banged against the window hard, in a way I thought people inside were going to think something terrible had happened to me,” she said, adding, “This was rough, and hard, and violent. And not in a seductive way — in a way that telegraphs some anger and meanness.”
“And he lunged at me,” she continued, “with his body pressed against mine against the window and came at me with his open mouth.”
Another woman says she asked Halperin for career advice and was invited to meet with him in his office to discuss it. As the conversation progressed, she realized that he was wanking it under the desk. Here’s the statement he released last night insisting that he realized after leaving ABC that he had a problem and sought help in solving it. He’s been better behaved since joining NBC, he says. Could be — all of the workplace harassment accusations against him so far date to his time at ABC. The Daily Beast published a piece last night, though, alleging that Halperin was still getting handsy with college girls during a visit to Tulane circa 2011, after he left ABC. Needless to say, if any colleagues come forward to accuse him of harassment on the job at NBC, whatever’s left of his credibility will be completely shot.
Everyone’s innocent of a crime until proven guilty, but here’s Argento’s running list of Weinstein accusers. Eighty-two and counting. Speaking of which, your exit question: Are any of the men accused of assault over the past few weeks going to be charged with anything? How would you substantiate a rape that happened 25 years ago in court?