Several more accusers come forward to talk about their bad experiences with Harvey Weinstein each day. English actress Lysette Anthony, best known in America for her role in the 1983 fantasy film Krull, told authorities last week that she had been raped by Weinstein in the 1980s. Her allegation seems significant for several reasons. First, she is claiming that Weinstein forced his way into her house and raped her, which is different than his usual m.o. Second, she says this happened in the mid-to-late 1980s which makes it earlier than most of the accusations we’ve heard. Third, Anthony reported the assault to the police who have referred it to Scotland Yard. She made the announcement on Twitter last week:
She described Weistein as a ‘so-called friend’, adding that they met dozens of times and she never felt as if anything ‘untoward’ were about to happen.
That was until she went for a drink at his rented house in Chelsea on one occasion and he started to undress and ‘grabbed’ her before she fled. Weinstein then began to ‘stalk’ her until the attack.
One morning Weinstein showed up at her home. When she answered the door he pushed his way inside:
She said: ‘He pushed me inside and rammed me up against the coat rack in my tiny hall and started fumbling at my gown. He was trying to kiss me and shove inside me. It was disgusting.’
Ms Anthony tried to resist but was unable to fight off heavily-built Weinstein. She said: ‘Finally I just gave up. At least I was able to stop him kissing me.
As he ground himself against me and shoved inside me, I kept my eyes shut tight, held my breath and just let him get on with it.’
‘He came over my leg like a dog and then left. It was pathetic, revolting,’ she told The Sunday Times. ‘I remember lying in the bath, crying.’
Once Anthony made her report to police last week it was referred to Scotland Yard which is now investigating. Since then, two more women have come forward to say they were raped by Weinstein, one of whom has given her report to authorities. From the Guardian:
“On 11 October, Merseyside police referred an allegation of sexual assault to the Metropolitan Police Service,” a Scotland Yard spokesman said. “It is alleged that a man sexually assaulted a woman in the late 1980s in west London. On 14 October, further allegations were made against the same man. It is alleged that the man sexually assaulted a woman in Westminster in 2010 and 2011, and in Camden in 2015.”
The cases involve two different victims.
“Officers from the Met’s child abuse and sexual offences command are investigating the allegations,” the statement continued. “There has been no arrest at this stage.”
The referral from Merseyside police is a reference to Anthony’s allegation. But the three other assaults in 2010,2011 and 2015 were made by another woman whose name has not been revealed yet. In addition, a former Miramax employee using the pseudonym Sarah Smith has accused Weinstein of raping her in 1992:
Recalling the day of the alleged rape, Ms Smith, now in her 50s, said: ‘I was there on my own when he came to the office. He went down to the basement [containing a bedroom for visiting employees from the US] and he called my name. I went down – he was standing there with nothing on. I started to back away.
‘He grabbed me and he was so big and powerful. He just ripped my clothes away and pushed me, threw me down. Then… I kept shouting, “No! Stop!” and tried to push him off. But he forced himself on me.
‘And I remember, this is the one thing I remember most clearly: I thought, I have to keep saying “No!” I was very aware that if a woman says no, it means no. And that was the one thing going through my mind throughout, “No, no, no, no!” It was over very quickly and then he just said, “Get out!” I remember walking home that night and it was cold and sodden. I was mortified and ashamed. I didn’t tell anyone…
She added: ‘Even after all these years, I can still wake up screaming. It happened as recently as a couple of weeks ago.
It’s astounding that Weinstein could get away with this sort of extreme, predatory behavior for 30 years. Many people are saying that this behavior is not limited to Hollywood and I believe that but I wonder if the incentives in Hollywood aren’t especially appealing to monsters like this. What other industry has a glut of beautiful young women who can be given or denied careers worth millions of dollars (and worldwide fame) depending solely on the goodwill of a few powerful men? From an op-ed by actress Sarah Polley in the NY Times:
This industry doesn’t tend to attract the most gentle and principled among us. I had two experiences in the same year in which I went into a film as an actor with an open heart and was humiliated, violated, dismissed and then, in one instance, called overly sensitive when I complained. One producer, when I mentioned I didn’t feel a rape scene was being handled sensitively, barked that Dakota Fanning had done a rape scene when she was 12 — “And she’s fine!” A debatable conjecture, surely…
Harvey Weinstein may be the central-casting version of a Hollywood predator, but he was just one festering pustule in a diseased industry.
I’m sure things like this can happen in any industry but the power dynamic in Hollywood seems almost designed to appeal to this kind of predator.