Thursday 18 October 2018

Myleene Klass says Harvey Weinstein offered her 'sex contract' as Kate Beckinsale claims he sexually harassed her when she was 17

Myleene Klass and Kate Beckinsale have spoken out against Harvey Weinstein
Myleene Klass and Kate Beckinsale have spoken out against Harvey Weinstein
Presenter Myleene Klass says she loves being a single mother
Kate Beckinsale

Patrick Sawer, Harriet Alexander and Barney Henderson

The British stars are the latest in a growing list of women to accuse the Oscar-winning producer.

Earlier on Thursday, it emerged that the Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation into claims, made against Weinstein by a woman understood to be now living in the Liverpool area.

The alleged assault took place in London during the 1980s and is the first to be reported to police in the UK since claims emerged last week that Weinstein sexually assaulted and harassed a string of Hollywood actresses.

It cames as the British actress Kate Beckinsale said Weinstein tried to ply her with drink when she was just 17.

I was called to meet Harvey Weinstein at the Savoy Hotel when I was 17. I assumed it would be in a conference room which was very common.When I arrived ,reception told me to go to his room . He opened the door in his bathrobe . I was incredibly naive and young and it did not cross my mind that this older ,unattractive man would expect me to have any sexual interest in him .After declining alcohol and announcing that I had school in the morning I left ,uneasy but unscathed.A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting .I realized he couldn't remember if he had assaulted me or not .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 cunt and making threats, some of which made him laughingly tell people oh "Kate lives to say no to me ." It speaks to the status quo in this business that I was aware that standing up for myself and saying no to things,while it did allow me to feel uncompromised in myself,undoubtedly harmed my career and was never something I felt supported by anyone other than my family.I would like to applaud the women who have come forward , and to pledge that we can from this create a new paradigm where producers,managers,executives and assistants and everyone who has in the past shrugged and said " well, that's just Harvey /Mr X/insert name here " will realize that we in numbers can affect real change.For every moment like this there have been thousands where a vulnerable person has confided outrageous unprofessional behavior and found they have no recourse, due to an atmosphere of fear that it seems almost everyone has been living in .I had a male friend who, based on my experience,warned a young actress who said she was going to dinner with Harvey to be careful. He received a phone call the next day saying he would never work in another Miramax film ;the girl was already sleeping with Harvey and had told him that my friend had warned her off.Let's stop allowing our young women to be sexual cannon fodder,and let's remember that Harvey is an emblem of a system that is sick,and that we have work to do.

A post shared by Kate Beckinsale (@katebeckinsale) on

In a statement Scotland Yard said: “The Met have been passed an allegation of sexual assault by Merseyside Police today, Wednesday 11 October. The allegation will be assessed by officers from Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command.”

Merseyside police added: “We can confirm a report was received at 8.40am on Wednesday of an alleged sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s. The report has been referred to the Metropolitan Police.”

It is not yet known whether the woman was working on one of Weinstein’s film during the period the alleged assault took place.

Myleene Klass on Thursday night said that she, too, had been propositioned by the bullish New Yorker.

Weinstein invited her for lunch in Cannes, after she had interviewed him at the film festival for CNN. Over lunch he "asked me to sign some kind of sex contract with him."

She said: "I just thought, ‘Mate, which planet are you from?’

“Then his PA came over with a confidentiality contract. I just thought, ‘Oh my God, your poor wife.’ I don’t want to be a marriage-wrecker.”

Klass, now 39, said she left the lunch feeling "disgusted and angry", and spoke about it in subsequent interviews - but had not named him until now.

Another British actress, Sophie Dix, came forward to say that she too had been assaulted by Weinstein - describing it as "the single most damaging thing that's happened in my life".

In 1990, when she was 22, she was on the cusp of stardom and had been cast in a film with Colin Firth.

Myleene Klass
Myleene Klass

Weinstein, who she had met previously at industry events, invited her for dinner and then asked her to come to his hotel room to watch the "rushes" - unedited footage - of a film he was working on. She said she "naively" accepted.

"It was an exciting time of my life. I was open and trusting and I had never met a predator; I had never considered a predator,” she told the Guardian.

Kate Beckinsale
Kate Beckinsale

In the room he tried to persuade her to give him a massage, and then "started trying to pull my clothes off and pin me down and I just kept saying ‘no, no, no’," she recalled.

"But he was really forceful. I remember him pulling at my trousers and stuff and looming over me and I just sort of – I am a big strong girl and I bolted ... ran for the bathroom and locked the door.”

Opening the door, she found him blocking the doorway, pleasuring himself.

She only fled when room service knocked and interrupted him.

Ms Dix, who abandoned the profession after the incident, is now a 48-year-old screenwriter. She said she told her family and friends about the incident, but was met by a wall of silence when she went to industry figures.

Beckinsale, who starred in the Aviator, said that he had opened his door at the Savoy Hotel in London dressed only in a bathrobe before trying to get her to drink.

She said that, following the incident, "saying no to him professionally many times over the years... undoubtedly harmed my career".

The actress wrote on Instagram: "I assumed it would be in a conference room which was very common. When I arrived, reception told me to go to his room. He opened the door in his bathrobe.

"I was incredibly naive and young and it did not cross my mind that this older, unattractive man would expect me to have any sexual interest in him. After declining alcohol and announcing that I had school in the morning I left, uneasy but unscathed.”

She added: “A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting. I realised he couldn't remember if he had assaulted me or not."

"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.

"It speaks to the status quo in this business that I was aware that standing up for myself and saying no to things, while it did allow me to feel uncompromised in myself, undoubtedly harmed my career and was never something I felt supported by anyone other than my family."

The latest developments in what is one of the biggest scandals in the history of Hollywood came as Weinstein took a private jet to Arizona to seek therapy for what he described as a sex addiction, telling paparazzi as he left: "I've got to get help".

The 65-year-old flew out of Los Angeles on Wednesday evening.

Earlier that day his 22-year-old daughter, Remy, called 911 and told police that her father was emotionally vulnerable, sources told gossip website TMZ.

When the police arrived, at around 10:30am, Miss Weinstein told the police it was a family dispute.

As he left for the airport, Weinstein was asked by paparazzi how he was.

"I'm hanging on in there," he replied.

"I'm not doing OK, but I'm trying. I've got to get help. You know what - we all make mistakes. Second chance, OK?"

He then turned to the photographers, and asked them not to follow his car.

"I've always been loyal to you guys. Not like those ------- pricks. I'm the good guy."

It was unclear where he was to receive treatment, but some reports suggested he could be at The Meadows, a rehab facility that has treated Kate Moss and Tiger Woods.

Weinstein issued another statement on Wednesday, professing his remorse.

The producer, who has now been accused of sexual harassment by around 30 women and rape by three, could face criminal proceedings in New York, where there is no statute of limitations.

Asked whether the New York Police Department was looking into his behaviour, the bureau would only say: "The NYPD is investigating an allegation of sex assault from 2004."

The case is believed to be that of Lucia Evans, who accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in the Miramax offices in TriBeCa in 2004.

His wife of ten years, British fashion designer Georgina Chapman, announced on Tuesday that she was leaving him.

He was fired by the board of the company he founded, Weinstein Co, on Sunday, and has had his BAFTA membership suspended. On Saturday members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, will meet to decide whether to expel him from their ranks.

“I am profoundly devastated. I have lost my wife and kids, whom I love more than anything else,” he said.

“I fully support her decision. I didn’t stand in Georgina’s way when we discussed a separation, I encouraged her to do what was in her heart.

"I know she has to do what is best for the children, for herself and her business, she employs 130 people.

"I don’t want her or my children to be hurt any more than they already have.

"I truly love Georgina, and I hope one day we can reconcile, although right now I don’t know if that could possibly happen.”

Ms Chapman, 41, has reportedly been taking advice from Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's former aide, whose own husband Anthony Weiner was sent to prison this month for sending sexually explicit messages to a teenager.

France will strip Harvey Weinstein of the prestigious state honour ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy granted him if the disgraced producer is convicted of any crime that incurs a year in prison.

Mr Sarkozy made Mr Weinstein a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2012 to “express (France’s) gratitude to someone who has always shown great friendship towards our country and our cinema, which you have enabled so many Americans to discover.”

But the award, which has been given to only a handful of foreigners, will automatically be taken back if he is convicted and given a non-suspended jail term of at least one year, a spokeswoman at the Légion d’Honneur told the Telegraph.

If convicted and handed a lesser sentence, the Légion would begin a “disciplinary procedure” and express an “opinion”, and it would then be up to the current president, Emmanuel Macron, to decide whether to strip Mr Weinstein of the honour.

The producer will be allowed to hold on to the award as long as there is no conviction against him.

Telegraph.co.uk

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