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“Bardak behind the scenes”: sex scandal around the cult film producer Harvey Weinstein

The New York Times journalists talked with actresses and models, to which the producer of the “Pulp Fiction” and “Clever Will Hunting” pestered.
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Harvey Weinstein. Getty Photos
Harvey Weinstein. Getty Photos

On October 5, The New York Times published an article about the long history of sexual harassment of producer Harvey Weinstein. According to former Weinstein Company employees and Hollywood actresses, for more than 30 years the giant of the Hollywood industry has pestered subordinates, undressed before them or asked for a massage.

The article caused a powerful response: Weinstein called her a lie and promised to sue the NYT for $ 50 million, but at the same time decided to temporarily resign. Meanwhile, the producer’s friends are trying to understand how an ardent supporter of women’s rights and a friend of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama could become the main hero of a sexual scandal.

What happened

The New York Times found out that Weinstein had been molesting Hollywood actresses and employees of the Weinstein Company (formerly Miramax) for 30 years. The data is based on anonymous sources and interviews with victims, many of whom preferred to remain anonymous.

It is well known about the eight girls who suffered from the harassment of Weinstein. Among them are the young assistant producer (1990), the London actress (1997) and the Italian model (2015), who remained anonymous, as well as the Weinstein Company employee Lauren O’Connor, the Italian model Ambra Battilana and actress Rose McGowan.

According to the artist Ashley Judd (films “Double Miscalculation”, “Fight”), 20 years ago the producer invited her to the hotel under the pretext of a business meeting. In the room, Weinstein came out to the girl in a dressing gown and invited her to massage him or see how he washes in the shower.

Rose McGowan in the movie "Scream" 1996. Photo Dimension Films
Rose McGowan in the movie “Scream” 1996. Photo Dimension Films
In 2014, Emily Nestor, who worked for Weinstein only one day, was invited by the producer to meet at the hotel. The man explained: if a girl agrees to an intimate relationship, he will help her with a career. The following year, Weinstein appeared naked before an unnamed employee of the Weinstein Company and asked her to massage him. She burst into tears and fled.

The concept of harassment was almost the same: the producer invited the girls to the hotel room, appeared in front of them naked or in a dressing gown, talked to them about sex, asked for a massage or offered an intimate relationship. For this he promised to help them with a career in Hollywood. With rare exceptions, Weinstein touched the interlocutors for the chest or between the legs against their will.

Why the harassment became known only now

The age of the victims varies from 20 to 40 years, they never met with each other and live in different cities. Some were afraid to report harassment because of the lack of witnesses and evidence. Others were ashamed of what happened. If the victim still tried to bring the case to publicity, Weinstein proposed to settle the conflict for money. The amounts were from 80 to 150 thousand dollars. Rose McGowan received $ 100,000 for silence.

Several dozen employees of the Weinstein Company admitted that they were aware of the sexual harassment of the chief. They were afraid to talk about it out loud, as the company’s code forbade criticizing the authorities.

In 2015, a member of the board of directors demanded an investigation against Weinstein, but he was dissuaded – the parties reached an agreement. The lawyer of the producer refused to comment on the information about the agreements with the girls about non-disclosure. He added that there is nothing unusual in settling cases between the parties without trial.

Who is Harvey Weinstein?

Weinstein is the producer of six Oscar-winning films, including “Pulp Fiction”, “Clever Will Hunting” and “Lovers of Shakespeare”. He produced a series of “Kill Bill”, “Scream”, “Inglourious Basterds” and “The Ghoulish Eight.” In total, in his filmography more than 40 paintings, he is considered a very influential figure in the American film industry.

Producer calls himself a liberal and a defender of women’s rights. In 2015, his company released a documentary about sexual harassment The Hunting Ground. In 2016, he financed the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and hired as an intern the eldest daughter of Barack Obama. In January 2017, the accused in sexual harassment took part in the Women’s March.

Harvey Weinstein with Hillary Clinton in 2012. Getty Photos
Harvey Weinstein with Hillary Clinton in 2012. Getty Photos
“Outside, it seemed beautiful -” Oscars “, success, a significant contribution to culture. But behind the scenes was a mess, a huge mess, “- former history president of Miramax Mark Gill described the history of Weinstein.

All 30 years that the producer allegedly molested girls, he was married. In 2007, his wife was 41-year-old British actress Georgina Chapman. At the same time, in conversation with NYT, many Weinstein Company employees stated that the producer had never solicited their or their acquaintances. They described him as a mentor and protector.

Consequences of the article

Weinstein rejected most of the charges, but announced his temporary resignation as head of the Weinstein Company. The producer apologized to anyone he could insult with his behavior, and told about plans to focus on the treatment of the therapist. The organization will continue to be managed by his brother Bob.

I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, when the rules of conduct in the workplace were different. Since then, I realized that this is not an excuse. Be it in the office, outside the office, no matter who. […]

Some time ago I realized that I should behave better, and my relationship with people and employees changed. I understand that my behavior with colleagues in the past has caused much pain, and I sincerely apologize for this. I plan to fix everything.

Harvey Weinstein
producer

After the publication of the article, the producer’s lawyer announced the preparation of a lawsuit against The New York Times for $ 50 million. Weinstein told The Hollywood Reporter that the story of sexual harassment is so good that he does not mind buying her rights. Later, actress Rose McGowan answered the producer on Twitter.

The edition of Variety already noted that the scandal may cost Weinstein a career. Famous in the film industry, people can stop communicating with him, which will deprive him of the right connections. Weinstein Company’s board of directors has scheduled a meeting during which Weinstein may be forced to leave the company forever.

 

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