Monday 21 May 2018

Blanchett says Weinstein sexually harassed her but 'won't fuel gossip'

Cate Blanchett says she was ‘preyed on’ by Harvey Weinstein. Photo: Reuters
Cate Blanchett says she was ‘preyed on’ by Harvey Weinstein. Photo: Reuters

Harriet Alexander

Cate Blanchett has become the latest actress to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.

The 48-year-old Australian, who is president of the jury of this month's Cannes Film Festival, told 'Variety' magazine that Weinstein made it clear his disdain for her, once she turned him down, and that she hoped he would be sentenced to prison for his alleged crimes.

Asked directly whether she had been sexually harassed by Weinstein, Blanchett replied: "With me, yes."

She continued: "I think he really primarily preyed, like most predators, on the vulnerable. I mean I got a bad feeling from him. He would often say to me, 'We're not friends'.

"I wouldn't do what he was asking me to do," she said, refusing to go into detail.

She said that she hopes he faces legal proceedings.

"He's been held up as an exemplar because he's unfortunately typical of certain men. I'm interested in those people being prosecuted. We have to set a legal precedent.

"When legal precedent is set by people being actually convicted, then other people can benefit from that because those precedents have been set. But me fuelling the gossip and accounts? There's enough out there.

"Statutory rape is a crime, the last time I looked.

"I think it's really important that people get tried through the judicial system. It's a really important arm of democracy that we must uphold because it's under threat from a lot of different quarters."

Blanchett, one of a number of high-profile actresses to support the Time's Up campaign, to fund legal action brought by poorer women, was also asked about her decision to work with Woody Allen - despite his daughter Dylan accusing him of molesting her when she was a child.

Allen has denied all the allegations against him.

She defended the decision, saying she was unaware of the allegations against Allen.

"I had a very productive time working with Woody, and he has written some of the most extraordinary roles for women. But at the time I worked with him I knew absolutely nothing about what was going on, and it came out subsequently," she said.

Irish Independent

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