Tuesday 20 March 2018

Clinton draws comparisons between Trump and Weinstein

Hillary Clinton: ‘Sexual assaulter in the Oval Office’. Picture: AP
Hillary Clinton: ‘Sexual assaulter in the Oval Office’. Picture: AP

Joe Nerssessian New York

Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has drawn comparisons between Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump.

The politician, who has previously received campaign funding from Weinstein, called rape and sexual assault allegations facing the movie mogul "heartbreaking".

She told the BBC's Andrew Marr: "I really commend the women who have been willing to step forward now and tell their stories.

"It's important that we not just focus on him and whatever consequences flow from these stories about his behaviour but that we recognise this kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated anywhere, whether it's in entertainment or politics," she said, adding: "After all, we have someone admitting to be a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office."

Her comments regarding President Trump were in response to a leaked tape which surfaced during his campaign. In the footage, which was recorded in 2005, he was overheard making crude comments about a married woman.

Mrs Clinton, who is in the UK promoting her memoirs which document her shock defeat in the US election, said: "There has to be a recognition that we must stand against this kind of action that is so sexist and misogynistic.

"It is something that has to be taken seriously, for anyone not just in entertainment. The really sad part of the campaign was how this horrific tape, what he said about women in the past, what he said about women during the campaign, was discounted by a lot of voters."

Asked if she believed Mr Trump and Weinstein were similar, she said: "I'm not a psychologist, I can't draw that conclusion. There are credible reports from women about both that sound very similar."

Asked about three reports of sexual misconduct against her husband and former president, Bill Clinton, she said: "That had all been litigated. That was subject of a huge investigation in the late ' 90s and there were conclusions drawn. That was clearly in the past."

Weinstein's spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister has said: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein."

Meanwhile, the head of Amazon Studios, Roy Price, has been placed on an immediate leave of absence following allegations he harassed a producer and ignored an actress's claim of a sexual assault by Weinstein.

The 'Hollywood Reporter' reported an allegation by Isa Hackett, a producer on one of Amazon's shows, that Mr Price had lewdly propositioned her in 2015.

The news came after the American actress Rose McGowan stated more frankly what she has long suggested: "HW raped me." "HW" was apparently in reference to Harvey Weinstein.

In a series of tweets, Ms McGowan addressed Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and said that she repeatedly told an Amazon Studios executive that "HW raped me".

In subsequent tweets, Ms McGowan appeared to suggest that Amazon Studios, which is overseen by Mr Price, previously dropped a project penned by Ms McGowan after she insisted Mr Weinstein not be involved.

The 'New York Times' earlier reported that Mr Weinstein paid a financial settlement of $100,000 (€84,000) to Ms McGowan in 1997 over an incident in a hotel room.

Yesterday it emerged that the Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation into claims made against Mr 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 Mr Weinstein sexually assaulted and harassed a string of Hollywood actresses.

Meanwhile, Myleene Klass was propositioned by Harvey Weinstein when she met him in Cannes in 2010, friends allege.

A friend said she thought she was meeting Weinstein to discuss work, but left the lunch feeling "disgusted and angry" and as soon as she found out what he allegedly wanted, she told him to "f*** off".

Klass has previously been reported as saying she had a story which would "bring Hollywood down" if it got out.

"A newly-married Hollywood star asked me to sign some kind of sex contract with him. I just thought: 'Mate, which planet are you from?'

"I was like: 'Bugger, I've got main and dessert to go - I'm stuck here.'

"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."

Irish Independent

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