A flood of allegations poured out Tuesday against Harvey Weinstein in on-the-record reports that detailed claims of sexual abuse and testimonies from Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, further intensifying the allegations against the disgraced movie mogul.
Three women accused Weinstein of raping them in a story published online by The New Yorker, including the Italian actress Asia Argento and a woman who was an aspiring actress in college when she caught Weinstein’s eye. A representative for the mogul vehemently denied the allegations in a statement to the magazine.
In a follow-up to its earlier exposé, The New York Times also reported Tuesday that many other actresses have in recent days added to the chorus of accusations surrounding Weinstein. Paltrow described Weinstein’s attempt to lure her, then 22, into giving him a massage in a hotel room. The incident prompted her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, to angrily confront Weinstein at a film premiere.
Both reports significantly ratcheted up the unfolding scandal surrounding Weinstein, who was fired Sunday from The Weinstein Company. They not only describe a mounting number of alleged incidents, but also thoroughly document the systematic harassment, abuse and intimidation of women — almost always young actresses trying to succeed in movies.
By the end of Tuesday, former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, an array of movie stars and Weinstein’s own wife, Georgina Chapman, had issued statements condemning Weinstein’s alleged conduct. Chapman told People magazine on Tuesday night that she is leaving her husband.
She said in a statement that her heart breaks for all the women who have suffered because of Weinstein’s “unforgivable” actions and pleaded for privacy for herself and her two young children as allegations against her husband mount. They married in 2007.
When the scandal broke last week, Weinstein told reporters Chapman was standing behind him.
Chapman founded the luxury brand Marchesa, known for feminine, dramatic red carpet gowns, with design partner Keren Craig in 2004, the year Chapman met Weinstein at a party in New York City.
Lucia Evans, then a senior at Middlebury College, said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004 at the Miramax offices in TriBeCa. She had been brought in for a casting meeting with Weinstein. Argento, an actress and director, said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999. A third woman spoke anonymously.
Attorneys for Weinstein did not immediately return messages Tuesday.
The New Yorker quoted Weinstein representative Sallie Hofmeister responding that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
The New Yorker story, written and researched by the NBC correspondent Ronan Farrow, said that 13 women have said Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them between 1990 and 2015. The incidents described range from unwanted groping to forced sex. Some of those incidents overlap with the eight allegations of sexual harassment previously reported by The New York Times, all of which resulted in financial settlements.
But they also go much further. In the article, Rosanna Arquette and Mira Sorvino are among those who claim Weinstein sexually harassed them. Arquette described a 1990s incident at a Beverly Hills hotel in which she said Weinstein tried to make her give him a massage and then attempted to lead her hand to his crotch. Afterward, the actress told the magazine, “He made things very difficult for me for years.”
Jolie also told the Times that she had “a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth.” Since then, she said, she has refused to work with him and would “warn others when they did.”
Representatives for the actresses involved in both reports did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Actress Louisette Geiss (“Two and a Half Men”) also came forward Tuesday, announcing in a news conference at attorney Gloria Allred’s Los Angeles office that in a 2008 meeting at the Sundance Film Festival, Weinstein appeared nude in an open bathrobe and sexually harassed her.
Weinstein was fired Sunday by The Weinstein Company, the studio he co-founded, three days after a bombshell New York Times exposé alleged decades of crude sexual behavior on his part toward female employees and actresses, including Ashley Judd.
Weinstein responded to the report in a lengthy, rambling statement in which he pleaded for a second chance and apologized for the pain he had caused.
“I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades. The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others. We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters. We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.” — via Facebook and Twitter
“I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior . . . I worked with Harvey five years ago and I did not experience any form of harassment personally, nor did I know about any of these allegations. This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting. My heart goes out to all of the women affected by these gross actions. And I want to thank them for their bravery to come forward.” — People magazine
“A lot of people are doing the ‘you had to know’ thing right now, and yes, if you’re asking if I knew that someone who was very powerful had a tendency to hit on young, beautiful women, sure. But I had no idea that it had gone to the level of having to pay off eight women for their silence, and that these women were threatened and victimized.” — The Daily Beast