Tuesday 17 September 2019

Harvey Weinstein: The key developments in his Hollywood downfall

The high-powered film executive has faced a string of sexual harassment allegations.

‘Cinema Against AIDS Cannes 2002’ Weinstein
‘Cinema Against AIDS Cannes 2002’ Weinstein

By Press Association Reporters

The scandal involving Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein continues to deepen.

Harvey Weinstein allegations

Here are the key developments since the story first hit the headlines.

:: Thursday October 5

The New York Times publishes a story exposing “previously undisclosed” allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein from women with whom he had previously worked, including actress Ashley Judd.

The producer issues an apology, saying he realises the way he behaved in the past “has caused a lot of pain” and that he “needed to be a better person”.

He adds: “I came of age in the 60s and 70s, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different. That was the culture then. I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.”

Weinstein says he intends to take a “leave of absence” from the Weinstein Company as he works with a therapist.

Buckingham Palace reception for the Dramatic Arts

:: Friday October 6

The Weinstein Company’s board of directors releases a statement saying that the majority of its members “strongly endorsed” co-founder Weinstein’s decision to step aside indefinitely while he receives “professional help for the problems he has acknowledged”.

What the future holds for Weinstein “depends on Harvey’s therapeutic progress, the outcome of the Board’s investigation and Harvey’s own personal decisions”, the board adds.

It adds that it takes the allegations “extremely seriously”.

The studio also announces it will be launching an inquiry into the allegations against Weinstein.

:: Saturday October 7

Weinstein’s lawyer Lisa Bloom announces her resignation.

She says: “I have resigned as an adviser to Harvey Weinstein. My understanding is that Mr Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement.”

:: Sunday October 8

During the evening, the Weinstein Company’s board of directors announces that Weinstein has been dismissed with immediate effect “in light of new information about misconduct”.

:: Monday October 9

British actress Romola Garai claims Weinstein wore only a dressing gown as he auditioned her for a film role when she was just 18.

BAFTA Awards 2010 – Arrivals – London

She tells The Guardian: “I had to go to his hotel room in the Savoy, and he answered the door in his bathrobe.

“I was only 18. I felt violated by it, it has stayed very clearly in my memory.”

Meanwhile, a host of stars speak out against the movie mogul’s alleged behaviour.

In a statement released to Variety magazine, Kate Winslet says: “The way Harvey Weinstein has treated these vulnerable, talented young women is not the way women should ever ever deem to be acceptable or commonplace in any workplace.”

Dame Judi Dench calls the claims “horrifying”, Meryl Streep says “the women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes”, while George Clooney says Weinstein’s behaviour is “indefensible”.

:: Tuesday October 10

Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie become the latest actresses to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment.

Paltrow and Weinstein NFT

Paltrow tells the New York Times she was left “petrified” after Weinstein propositioned her when she was 22.

In an email statement to the publication, Jolie says: “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.”

Meanwhile, three women allege that Weinstein had raped them in an article in The New Yorker – claims that are vehemently denied by Weinstein.

His spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister tells the publication: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein.”

More high-profile figures speak out against Weinstein, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Ben Affleck and Barack Obama.

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio also commented, tweeting: “There is no excuse for sexual harassment or sexual assault – no matter who you are and no matter what profession.

“I applaud the strength and courage of the women who came forward and made their voices heard.”

BAFTA Film Awards 2014 – Arrivals – London

Reports emerge that Weinstein’s wife, British fashion designer Georgina Chapman, has “chosen to leave” him following the allegations.

In a statement to People magazine, she said: “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions.

“I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time.”

:: Wednesday October 11

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) announces it has suspended Weinstein’s membership, effective immediately.

EE BAFTA Nominees Party co-hosted by Audi – London

In an official statement the organisation said in light of the “very serious allegations”, it had informed Weinstein of his membership suspension.

In a letter, a number of senior Labour MPs called for Weinstein’s honorary CBE to be taken away.

The letter to Prime Minister Theresa May – who has already expressed “concern” about the accusations but said it was not a matter for Downing Street – refers to Weinstein’s apology released last week in which he said: “I came of age in the 60s and 70s, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.”

Following the Bafta statement, a host of other industry bodies release statements, including the British Film Institute (BFI), which told the Press Association it “wholeheartedly support(s) those brave enough to come forward and speak out” against Weinstein.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hosts the Oscars, described the sexual abuse allegations against Weinstein as “repugnant” and “abhorrent”. It announces it will hold a meeting on Saturday October 14 to discuss any action to be taken.

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When I first started to work as an actress, i was working on a film and I received a call from‎ Harvey Weinstein asking if I had slept with any of the women I was seen out with in the media. It was a very odd and uncomfortable call....i answered none of his questions and hurried off the phone but before I hung up, he said to me that If I was gay or decided to be with a woman especially in public that I'd never get the role of a straight woman or make it as an actress in Hollywood. A year or two later, I went to a meeting with him in the lobby of a hotel with a director about an upcoming film. The director left the meeting and Harvey asked me to stay and chat with him. As soon as we were alone he began to brag about all the actresses he had slept with and how he had made their careers and spoke about other inappropriate things of a sexual nature. He then invited me to his room. I quickly declined and asked his assistant if my car was outside. She said it wasn't and wouldn't be for a bit and I should go to his room. At that moment I felt very powerless and scared but didn't want to act that way hoping that I was wrong about the situation. When I arrived I was relieved to find another woman in his room and thought immediately I was safe. He asked us to kiss and she began some sort of advances upon his direction. I swiftly got up and asked him if he knew that I could sing. And I began to sing....i thought it would make the situation better....more professional....like an audition....i was so nervous. After singing I said again that I had to leave. He walked me to the door and stood in front of it and tried to kiss me on the lips. I stopped him and managed to get out of the room. I still got the part for the film and always thought that he gave it to me because of what happened. Since then I felt awful that I did the movie. I felt like I didn't deserve the part. I was so hesitant about speaking out....I didn't want to hurt his family. I felt guilty as if I did something wrong. I was also terrified that this sort of thing had happened to so many women I know but no one had said anything because of fear.

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Cara Delevingne is the latest actress to launch claims against Weinstein, saying he made advances towards her in a hotel room after asking her to kiss another woman.

The actress and model said she had the encounter with the movie mogul after a meeting with him and a film director in a hotel lobby.

French actress Lea Seydoux, who starred in the Bond film Spectre, also speaks out, saying she had to defend herself after the director allegedly jumped on her and tried to kiss her.

The French actress, who won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for Blue Is The Warmest Colour, penned a piece for The Guardian saying Weinstein stared at her “as if I was a piece of meat”.

She said: “He acted as if he were considering me for a role. But I knew that was bullshit. I knew it, because I could see it in his eyes. He had a lecherous look. He was using his power to get sex.

“He invited me to come to his hotel room for a drink. We went up together. It was hard to say no because he’s so powerful. All the girls are scared of him.

“Soon, his assistant left and it was just the two of us. That’s the moment where he started losing control.”

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane comments on a joke he made about Weinstein at the 2013 Oscar nominations, saying it was a way for him to stand up to the producer after one of his friends said she had been harassed by him.

Overnight, police are called following a “family dispute” at the home of Weinstein’s daughter.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) confirmed they were called to reports of a “disturbance” at the house but said no crime had been committed. Weinstein was not there when officers arrived.

:: Thursday October 12

Police in Britain and the US said they have opened investigations into Weinstein on Thursday.

Merseyside Police said they had received a report at 8.40am on Wednesday of an alleged sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s, and referred it to Scotland Yard.

Meanwhile, the NYPD told the Press Association it was conducting a review to determine if there are any additional complaints relating to the Weinstein matter based on information in news reports.

It comes after Weinstein was caught on camera for the first time since the scandal broke.

Dressed in a black T-shirt and scruffy jeans, Weinstein was seen leaving his daughter’s house in Los Angeles. He told TMZ: “I’m not doing okay” but “we all make mistakes”.

Kate Beckinsale said she had an encounter with Weinstein when she was just 17, when he appeared at a meeting in a bathrobe and offered her alcohol.

In a post on Instagram, she wrote: “I had what I thought were boundaries – I said no to him professionally many times over the years-some of which ended up with him screaming at me calling me a c*** and making threats, some of which made him laughingly tell people oh ‘Kate lives to say no to me’.”


On Thursday evening, British actress Sophie Dix became the latest actress to accuse Weinstein of sexual abuse.

The 48-year-old told The Guardian she had been pinned down in a hotel room by the producer in 1990 when she was 22.

Dix, who appeared alongside Colin Firth in 1993 film The Hour Of The Pig, said she was “very, very vocal” about it at the time, but those in the industry “didn’t want to know about it”.

Jane Fonda, Colin Farrell and Emma Thompson joined the chorus of actors hitting out at Weinstein.

Thompson labelled him a “predator” as she compared the litany of allegations to the Jimmy Savile scandal.

:: Friday October 13

Director Alexander Payne tells the Press Association Weinstein is a “thug” who was “asking for” his downfall.

The Election filmmaker extends his pity for his children, and says: “He was known as somewhat of a bully and thug in business dealings and so why wouldn’t that extend also to other dealings? It’s very sad.”

:: Saturday October 14

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences votes to oust Harvey Weinstein.

The board of governors opts by “well in excess of the required two-thirds majority” to immediately expel him, making him only the second person in history to be evicted.

Harvey Weinstein and Gwyneth Paltrow with Oscars won for Shakespeare In Love in 1999 (PA)

A statement says: “We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of wilful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behaviour and workplace harassment in our industry is over.

“What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society. The Board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.”

Firth speaks of his shame at not acting after Dix confided in him about her encounter with Weinstein.


He tells The Guardian: “She told me she had had a distressing encounter with Harvey Weinstein.

“I don’t think she went into all the horrific detail I’ve read in her interview. But I remember her being profoundly upset by it. To my shame, I merely expressed sympathy.

“I didn’t act on what she told me. It was a long time ago and I don’t know if she remembers telling me, but the fact that I had that conversation has come back to haunt me in the light of these revelations.

“It’s the only direct account of this kind of behaviour by Harvey Weinstein that’s ever been told to me.”

Bond star Eva Green was also subjected to harassment by Weinstein, her mother says.

Harvey Weinstein allegations

Marlene Jobert tells French radio station Europe 1: “She didn’t respond… she was a little bit intimidated, this guy had so much power! The power over all cinema.

“He stuck so many sticks in her wheels, because he was angry.”

:: Sunday October 15

British actress Lysette Anthony says she has told the Metropolitan Police she was attacked by Weinstein in her London home in the late 1980s.

Scotland Yard had previously said it had received an allegation of sexual assault without naming the producer.

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”.

British Soap Awards 2017 – Manchester

On Wednesday, Anthony tweeted that she had just reported a historical crime, adding “feel sick… so sad”.

The Met Police said it was passed an allegation of sexual assault by Merseyside Police the same day.

“The allegation will be assessed by officers from Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command,” the force said.

Sources confirmed that three further sexual abuse allegations against Weinstein have been made to British police.

The fresh complaints, from one alleged victim, relate to incidents in 2010, 2011 and 2015, in Westminster and Camden.

A third woman also contacted British police with sexual assault claims against Weinstein. The alleged victim said Weinstein assaulted her in Westminster in 1992.

Metropolitan Police are now investigating five allegations involving Weinstein, dating back to the late 1980s.

Star Wars director JJ Abrams called Weinstein ” a monster”, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “I don’t think enough can be said about how viciously repulsive his abuse of power was.”

Woody Allen clarified comments about Weinstein, after an earlier interview sparked headlines that he was “sad” for the producer.

“When I said I felt sad for Harvey Weinstein I thought it was clear the meaning was because he is a sad, sick man,” he said in a statement to Variety. “I was surprised it was treated differently.”

:: Monday October 16

Actress Alice Evans describes an “Orwellian type of fear” surrounding Weinstein.

16th Annual Sir Elton John Oscar Party – Los Angeles

The star previously revealed an encounter with the movie mogul, saying that when she rejected his advances he told her: “Let’s hope your boyfriend’s (Ioan Gruffudd’s) career goes well.”

She told Good Morning Britain: “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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