The NY Times has a follow-up report today in which half a dozen more actresses come forward to tell their stories of encounters with Harvey Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow, who won an Oscar for her work in Weinstein’s Shakespear in Love, says he tried to proposition her when she was 22-years-old and had been hired for her first starring role in the film Emma. Paltrow confided what had happened to her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt who confronted Weinstein:
Ms. Paltrow, 45, is now an entrepreneur, no longer dependent on securing her next acting role. But she emphasized how much more vulnerable she felt at 22, when Mr. Weinstein had just signed her up for a star-making part. On a trip to Los Angeles, she received a schedule from her agents for the hotel meeting with Mr. Weinstein.
There was no reason to suspect anything untoward, because “it’s on the fax, it’s from C.A.A.,” she said, referring to Creative Artists Agency, which represented her.
When Mr. Weinstein tried to massage her and invited her into the bedroom, she immediately left, she said, and remembers feeling stunned as she drove away. “I thought you were my Uncle Harvey,” she recalled thinking, explaining that she had seen him as a mentor.
After she told Mr. Pitt about the episode, he approached Mr. Weinstein at a theater premiere and told him never to touch Ms. Paltrow again. Mr. Pitt confirmed the account to The Times through a representative.
After that confrontation, Weinstein called Paltrow and “screamed” at her for sharing what he had done. The other major star mentioned in the article is Angelina Jolie who offered a brief acknowledgment that she also had a bad experience with Weinstein:
“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.”
Actress Rosanna Arquette tells a similar story to all the others. She was invited up to Weinstein’s room and found him in a bathrobe. She says he grabbed her hand and pulled it to his crotch but she refused his advances saying, “I’m not that girl.”
But it’s clear from this story that Weinstein didn’t just make these moves on leading ladies. The Times also reports on Tomi-Ann Roberts who was a 20-year-old college student Weinstein met when she was a waitress looking to get into the film business. Weinstein sent her scripts and invited her to his room where she found him in the bathtub. He demanded she expose herself, telling her the role he wanted to offer her involved nudity. She declined and left the room. Roberts later became a psychology professor who studies sexual objectification. She tells the Times she still has trouble watching films from Miramax.
As the pervasive and extreme nature of Weinstein’s behavior becomes more evident, it becomes more difficult to believe those who claim they had no idea this was happening. French actress Emma de Caune told the New Yorker, “I know that everybody—I mean everybody—in Hollywood knows that it’s happening.” She added, “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.”
Yesterday actress Jessica Chastain tweeted that she was warned about Weinstein. She said stories about him were “everywhere.”
I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an enviornment for it to happen again.
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) October 9, 2017
And yet, Meryl Streep offered a defensive statement Monday saying:
Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally. I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts.
How is it possible that so many actresses in Hollywood knew, that people like Angelina Jolie were warning others, that people were making thinly-veiled jokes about this for years, but the woman who is the very pinnacle of Hollywood success never heard about any of it? Remember, at least one accusation was all over New York media two years ago. And still, Streep heard nothing? I suppose anything is possible but it seems fantastic.