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Updated | Harvey Weinstein: the story so far

Over 30 women have come forward with stories of sexual harassment and rape involving film producer Harvey Weinstein and the story doesn't seem to be over just yet

tia_reljic
Tia Reljic
15 October 2017, 3:54pm
Last updated on 18 October 2017, 10:16am
A week ago, Harvey Weinstein was one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood, enjoying the respect of many of his fans and peers. However, since it was reported by the New York times and the New Yorker that Weinstein had, over the course of 30 years, sexually harassed and raped several women, some 30 celebrities have come forward claiming to be Weinstein’s victims.

The 65-year old producer has since been fired from his own company – the Weinstein Company – and expelled from the Oscars Academy. His wife of ten years, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, is also reported to have left him.

Many of the stories shared by the alleged victims follow a pattern: young actors and models at the very start of their career being sent to meet with Weinstein for what they are led to believe is a business meeting. Most reports describe being welcomed by Weinstein in a private hotel room wearing a bathrobe, before asking for a massage or sexual favours. The majority of the women who claim to have rejected Weinstein or managed to remove themselves from dangerous situations with him claim that their careers suffered as a result.

Many celebrities have also come forward expressing shock and dismay at the revelations. A long-time friend and partner, Quentin Tarantino, commented about the allegations, saying he was "stunned and heartbroken" at the news. Harvey Weinstein's brother, Bob, has also spoken out against the producer, revealing that the two have not been on good terms for the past five years. "I want him to get the justice he deserves," Bob said.

Filmmaker Woody Allen said that he had "heard rumours" but not "these horror stories" in response to the allegations against Weinstein. His son, Ronan Farrow - a freelance journalist for NBC news - had been investigating sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein for ten months.

Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton expressed shock and disguist in response to the allegations on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, adding that president Donald Trump himself is a sexual assaulter.

Filmmaker Kevin Smith also spoke out against Weinstein, despite the producer being heavily involved in making Smith's career a success. He expressed guilt for praising Weinstein over the years, and has pledged all future profits from Weinstein movies to the non-profit organisation Women in Film.

Since the revelations, Weinstein has reportedly left for Europe, checking himself into rehab for sex addiction, with actress Emma Thompson insisting Weinstein is a “predator” and not a sex addict. The actress and screenwriter, who was in contact with the producer over business matters in the past, spoke on BBC’s Newsnight and recalled what she described as “bullying” by Weinstein.

The story broke on October 10, with three women accusing Weinstein of rape. An audio recording was also released, revealing a conversation between Weinstein and model Ambra Battila Gutierrez. Weinstein had allegedly lunged at her and groped her, and was recorded saying, "Don't ruin your friendship with me for five minutes". Her reputation suffered significantly when media picked up on the story in 2015, as many of them suggested that her accusations were illegitimate.

Since last week’s revelations, Rose McGowan has accused Weinstein of raping her, and claims that she was threatened after reporting it. A private settlement was reached between Weinstein and McGowan when the actor was 23 years old, and she claims to have required three surgeries on her wrist and elbow. Actor and director Asia Argento said that after agreeing to give Weinstein a massage, he raped her. Actor Lysette Anthony has also accused the producer of rape, claiming that he attacked her in her home in the late 1980s. Lucia Stoller – now Evans – claims Weinstein forced her into performing a sexual act in 2004. Weinstein has denied all accusations of rape, claiming that the encounters were consensual.

Lea Seydoux described an encounter in which Weinstein "jumped" on her and tried to kiss her. Gwyneth Paltrow claims that Weinstein touched her when she was 22 years old, and that she was expected to keep it to herself. However, the actress had told her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, who got into a confrontation with Weinstein. Angelina Jolie told the New York Times that she had a bad experience with Weinstein when she was young and never worked with him again. Ashley Judd also echoed a story similar to many of the women – claiming that she met with him in a hotel for what she thought was a meeting. Instead, the producer allegedly kept asking for favours, including a massage and for Judd to watch him shower.

Eva Green described feeling "shocked and disgusted" during a meeting with Weinstein, to the point that she felt the need to "push him off". Kate Beckinsale claims she first met Weinstein when she was 17, but managed to get herself out of the hotel before anything happened. Cara Delevingne described feeling odd and uncomfortable when Weinstein phoned to ask her if she had slept with any of the women she was seen out with. She went on to describe an incident in a hotel room with Weinstein where he tried to kiss her, blocking the door as she attempted to exist.

Mia Sorvino, who appeared in a number of Weinstein's films, reported unwanted physical contact from the producer and feeling uncomfortable and threatened by him. Actor and producer Louisette Geiss said that she was attacked by Weinstein during a meeting in a hotel. Rosanna Arquette said that she went to Weinstein's hotel in the 1990s and, like many other women, was met by the producer in a bathrobe asking for a massage. Despite refusing contact, she claims that Weinstein grabbed her hand and pulled it towards his crotch area. TV anchor Lauren Sivan said that Weinstein cornered her and ordered her to "be quite" as he masturbated, and actor Claire Forlani claimed that she had to escape from Weinstein five times.

Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey has also accused the producer of sexually harassing her after calling her to his room to show her a script. She said she felt "completely powerless" when he allegedly grabbed her by the arm and led her out after she refused his advances. Lauren Holly also spoke out, alleging that Weinstein harassed her during a busines meeting. Angie Everhart has also accused him of masturbating in front of her at the Cannes Film Festival years ago.

In response to the allegations, Weinstein's spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister issued a statement which denies accusations of "non-consensual sex", as well as "acts of retaliation against women for refusing his advances".

As is often the case, many of the woman had failed to report the abuse in the past due to threats received and fears over damaging their reputation and livelihood. Only after the story had received widespread public attention and had been viewed from the victims’ perspective did more women feel it was safe enough for them to come forward.

It is unclear whether Weinstein will face any charges over any of the alleged crimes, but legal experts have said that the producer could be looking at up to 25 years in prison if prosecutors decide to given a criminal conviction. The producer has reportedly retained criminal attorney Blair Berk.

The LAPD have asked Weinstein's victims to go public with their accusations so that investigations can take place. The New York Police Department and the London Metropolitan Police are also investigating complaints.

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Tia Reljic joined MaltaToday in 2017