Monday 19 November 2018

Actress describes ‘Orwellian’ type of fear surrounding Harvey Weinstein

Alice Evans said: “He had what everybody wanted. He was in a position of power.”

Harvey Weinstein (PA)
Harvey Weinstein (PA)

By Press Association Reporters

Actress Alice Evans has described an “Orwellian type of fear” surrounding Harvey Weinstein.

She made the comments as the Metropolitan Police investigate five allegations involving Weinstein, dating back to the late 1980s.

Evans became one of the latest women, at the weekend, to reveal an encounter with the movie mogul, saying that when she rejected his advances he told her: “Let’s hope your boyfriend’s career goes well.”

“That has stayed with me forever,” she said of the comment about Liar actor Ioan Gruffudd, who had just screen-tested for a Weinstein film.

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“It’s repugnant to me that he would say that because we all know what he meant.”

Asked about not coming forward earlier, she told Good Morning Britain: “Who would we raise our heads to?…

“I can’t go to the police. He didn’t do anything legally wrong… Everybody needed Harvey Weinstein so everybody was prepared to imagine it maybe wasn’t as bad as they thought. I don’t think anybody said, ‘Go away and have sex with this man.’

“He had what everybody wanted. He was in a position of power.”

She added: “I know of girls who told other girls to be careful. The girls went in, had whatever they had to do with Harvey, and told Harvey about the other girls. Harvey called the other girls and said, ‘Don’t you ever talk bad about me again.’ Can you imagine that Orwellian kind of fear?

“Almost like World War Two, with the French, you weren’t sure who was your friend and who wasn’t.”

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Her comments came as Star Wars director JJ Abrams called Weinstein a “monster”.

“Someone said to me the other day that they are sick of hearing people talk about how disgusting it is,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

“I don’t think enough can be said about how viciously repulsive his abuse of power was. He’s a monster.”

Meanwhile, a third woman contacted British police with sexual assault claims against Weinstein.

On Sunday, an alleged victim said Weinstein assaulted her in Westminster in 1992.

Earlier, Scotland Yard confirmed three allegations were made relating to alleged sexual assaults in London in 2010, 2011 and 2015.

This followed another allegation, passed to Scotland Yard detectives by Merseyside Police this week, relating to an alleged sexual assault in the capital in the late 1980s.

The latest allegations, made to police on Sunday, came as more British women came forward saying they were raped by Weinstein.

Hollyoaks actress Lysette Anthony has told the Metropolitan Police she was attacked by the movie mogul in her London home in the late 1980s, while another unnamed former Miramax employee said he raped her in the basement flat of his London offices in around 1992 – it is not known if she was the third complainant.

Harvey Weinstein allegations

The woman, who is granted automatic anonymity as an alleged sex offences victim, said she has only confided in her husband about the attack within the last few days.

The woman, who said she chewed raw garlic and wore tatty clothes to repel Weinstein, told The Mail on Sunday: “Even after all these years, I can still wake up screaming.

“I wanted the opportunity to speak out, but I just couldn’t see how.”

The fresh allegations follow several made by actresses in the US against Weinstein – four of rape and more than 30 of sexual harassment – and come as the organisation behind the Oscars expelled Weinstein.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday night he was moving to strip producer Weinstein of the prestigious Legion D’Honneur award – the highest decoration in France – while Bafta has already suspended him, and Weinstein’s wife, British designer Georgina Chapman, said she was leaving him.

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Actress Anthony, 54, told The Sunday Times she met the producer when she starred in 1982 sci-fi film Krull and the alleged assault occurred a few years later.

She said it was a “pathetic, revolting” attack that had left her “disgusted and embarrassed”.

On Saturday some of the film industry’s most powerful figures, including Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Whoopi Goldberg, voted to expel the film producer from their ranks.

Dozens of actresses, including Hollywood A-listers Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, have made accusations of sexual harassment against the 65-year-old movie mogul over the past 10 days, prompting the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to call an emergency meeting.

In a statement, they said the board had “voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority” to expel Weinstein.

Actress Rose McGowan – one of the first women to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment and who has since said he raped her – celebrated the academy’s decision with a post on Instagram.

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A post shared by Rose McGowan (@rosemcgowan) on

She wrote: “We slay dragons.”

Through his spokeswoman, Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” any allegations of non-consensual sex after three actresses said he had raped them in an article in The New Yorker.

Press Association

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