Sunday 20 October 2019

Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment

Paltrow was “petrified” after Weinstein propositioned her when she was just 22.

The Graham Norton Show – London
The Graham Norton Show – London

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie are the latest actresses to accuse film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.

Paltrow said she was left “petrified” after Weinstein propositioned her when she was just 22, while Jolie vowed never to work with him again after a “bad experience” as a young actress.

The high-profile pair join a growing list of stars accusing the producer of sexual harassment, which has seen him dismissed from the Weinstein Company and issue an apology.

Weinstein has denied many of the allegations and issued a vehement denial over three allegations of rape which emerged on Tuesday.

Speaking to the New York Times, Paltrow claimed Weinstein summoned her to his suite at a Beverly Hills hotel after he had hired her as a lead for 1996 hit Emma. She said he placed his hands on her and suggested they head to the bedroom for massages.

Angelina Jolie

She told the New York Times: “I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” adding she confided in her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt who confronted Weinstein which led to him threatening her not to tell anyone else.

“I thought he was going to fire me,” Paltrow told the publication.

Pulp Fiction star Rosanna Arquette and French actress Judith Godreche made similar accusations, according to the New York Times – while Jolie said he made unwanted advances on her in a hotel room.

In an email statement to the publication, Jolie said: “I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop website (Ian West/PA)

“This behaviour towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”

Following the further allegations, high profile women’s right attorney Gloria Allred issued a challenge to Weinstein provide “justice” for his accusers through an independent arbitration or confidential mediation.

Allred was speaking alongside former actress Louisette Geiss, who claimed Weinstein begged her to watch him masturbate at a hotel during Sundance festival in 2008.

It came after three women alleged that Weinstein had raped them in an article in The New Yorker.

Actress Asia Argento and a former actress Lucia Evans went on the record to allege Weinstein forced himself on them sexually. A third woman spoke anonymously.

In a statement to the New York Times, his spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister said: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein.”

The article also included an audio recording from 2015 made by the New York Police Department in which he admitted to groping model Ambra Battilana Guiterrez.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who received major donations from Weinstein during her campaign, said she was “shocked and appalled” by the revelations.

In a post shared by her communications director Nick Merrill and retweeted by her, Secretary Clinton said: “The behaviour described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated.

“Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behaviour.”

Stars including George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and Dame Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch have thrown their support behind the women accusing him of sexual harassment, while Ben Affleck said reading the rape allegations made him “sick”.

Affleck said he was “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”.

Affleck launched his career through the success of 1997 film Good Will Hunting alongside Matt Damon, which was produced and distributed through Weinstein’s former company, Miramax, and which won the pair a screenwriting Oscar.

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