Seth MacFarlane announced the 2012 nominees for best supporting actress at The Oscars: Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), and Amy Adams (The Master).
“Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.”
It got big laughs from the audience. More than you’d expect in this kind of setting, anyway. There was a reason for that. It was because it’s true. In his public statement, Seth says the joke came from a place of anger and loathing. Back then, he found out a female colleague of his was targeted by Harvey.
Reflect a bit closer in Hollywood’s past and you’ll find muffled cries for help. At a 2005 red carpet event for Pamela Anderson’s Comedy Central Roast, Courtney Love was asked to give advice for young women trying to make it in Hollywood.
“If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party in the Four Seasons? Don’t go,” she said.
Many call it the open secret of Hollywood. I think of it as the supernova of sex scandals and abuse. A situation that explodes in such a bright massive ball of light, that everyone on the planet turned their heads to see.
In brief, Harvey Weinstein and both his company’s films were some of the more noteworthy in the past few decades of the movie industry. With the founding of Miramax (Harvey and Bob’s run lasted from 1979 until 2005), the two brothers helped bring some of my favorites to life: Clerks, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Good Will Hunting. When they left Miramax and formed The Weinstein Company thereafter, they continued being a powerhouse. But the films were just something to do. As more important than the quality of the movies was the quantity. Weinstein’s influence in the industry was in part because of how many films he helped see release. The veins of blood pumping a continuous flow of money and life into Harvey’s sex machine.
Let me smack you upside the head on this point. Harvey Weinstein was in the center circle of Hollywood’s powerful people. I’ve put together this collage to better portray that.
Harvey Weinstein was thanked as much as God was when it came to Academy Awards acceptance speeches (based on an analysis done from 1966 to 2016). 34 times. God and Harvey are in a second-place tie, with the only one ahead of both being Steven Spielberg.
It’s one thing to show individual pictures of Harvey hanging out with the global elite. But that only goes far in demonstrating the extent of his reach. Also, this is just a fraction of what Weinstein’s socialization potential can do. This is only the stuff they caught on camera.
Consider everything that’s not. I recommend reading this entire article on the Huffington Post. It goes in-depth over how Weinstein took advantage of a charity auction and leveraged it for personal gain. Teaming up with someone on the inside named Kenneth Cole, Harvey’s intention was to simply move money around quietly. But everything didn’t go according to plan as people from Kenneth’s side began asking questions. The response from Weinstein’s side was self-serving and incompetent enough to make the situation worse. Blowing it so out of proportion that the charity launched a formal investigation into what went down. While Harvey’s treatment of women wasn’t a factor going into this at all, the investigators looking into the matter fell down that rabbit hole the deeper they got into their work.
Weinstein knew what was coming. On October 4th Variety reported Harvey enlisted a team of attorneys.
On October 5th 2017, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of the New York Times published “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades.” This bombshell report revealed how actresses like Ashley Judd and employees like Emily Nestor were treated by Harvey Weinstein. It wasn’t just one or two situations, either. These Weinstein scenarios span across three decades. The New York Times backed up their findings with: interviews from employees and industry people, emails, legal records, and other internal documents they obtained. Eight different settlements with women, going from a young assistant in 1990 to an Italian model in 2015. A memo by Lauren O’Connor was a key piece of initial evidence. One that Lisa Bloom said Weinstein thought was “off base” in the midst of denying these claims.
“I am a 28 year old woman trying to make a living and a career. Harvey Weinstein is a 64 year old, world famous man and this is his company. The balance of power is me: 0, Harvey Weinstein: 10.”
Lisa Bloom had spent the past year giving Weinstein guidance on gender and power dynamics. She “explained to him that due to the power difference between a major studio head like him and most others in the industry, whatever his motives, some of his words and behaviors can be perceived as inappropriate, even intimidating,” according to Bloom herself.
The memo detailed complaints that many others coming forward about Weinstein shared. O’Connor expressed concerns that people like her and other female staff were unsuspecting go-betweens that gave women Harvey went after a false sense of security.
The sheer scale of the situation redefines the word scandal. As it applies to Hollywood and the Media Entertainment Industry. The New York Times piece mentions Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, and Project Runway as some of the media content Weinstein helped release. They even highlight some of the political hypocrisy. The piece mentions how Weinstein distributed a documentary about campus sexual assault with 2015’s The Hunting Ground. Also, how Harvey threw his weight behind the democratic party. Doing things like fund-raising for Hillary Clinton and having Malia Obama intern for him. Elsewhere, I came across a piece from the Independent written by Weinstein himself back in 2009. In it, he makes an argument for Roman Polanski to be freed from his sexual abuse charges.
Months later, the aftershocks are still coming and coming. I would not be surprised if it continued through 2018, at this rate. Before this came out, people knew that there was an issue with how women were treated. After the Weinstein saga became public it removes all doubts about how people in Hollywood can take advantage of the system.
Something is wrong. Right now we’re all just trying to come to terms with the extent of what that is. The best place to start is by getting a grasp on the facts. You can find the foundation of those in the aforementioned The New York Times piece, along with The New Yorker’s own investigation published on October 10th. Stuff like an audio file from 2015 where Harvey Weinstein admits to groping Ambra Battilana Gutierrez is cold-hard evidence. The odds of Weinstein being able to explain his own words away is the most difficult challenge he has for himself, in his long road of litigation ahead.
Obviously, both men and women can fall victim to sexual harassment, abuse, and rape. But when it came to Harvey Weinstein, in particular, he targeted ladies. It’s worth taking the time to study the instances of this and narrowing it down to a pattern of commonalities. Even so, it’s difficult putting a blanket label on each case. The easiest term would be victims. But when it comes to consent on a situational basis, some might disagree with that phrasing. Harvey treated these women like targets as if his exploits were a sport. In a game that changed lives for those unfortunate enough to be involved. The best label here is survivors. Anyone who crossed Weinstein’s path and lived to tell about it survived an ordeal. I should point out that a majority of my list is sourced from what Asia Argento (one of Weinstein’s victims) posted on Twitter and available in this Google Doc. I made this Twitter list as well. If you preferred to further hear from the people involved themselves.
Hope Exiner d’Amore
Juliana De Paula
Sarah Ann Masse
Vu Thu Phuong
Emma De Caunes
Paz de la Huerta
Ambra Battilana Gutierrez
Harvey never drugged any of these ladies. He wasn’t after their bodies. Weinstein loved the thrill of the hunt. No. Harvey Weinstein went after these women to fulfill some sort of psychological need for domination, control, and having power over others. In both the immediate sense, as well as the long term. It starts with meeting the target. Weinstein is able to adapt to whatever situation he’s presented with. Whatever opportunity comes his way. Generally speaking, he goes for a method of professional pretenses. Something along the lines of wanting to discuss career plans with his target, and needing to meet them privately. Sometimes it involves a date of some kind beforehand. Sometimes it doesn’t. What matters to him is getting the girl alone in his hotel room. That’s his operating table. Much like how TV serial killer Dexter Morgan used plastic sheeting and a “kill room,” Harvey Weinstein tries to get his victim trapped in a controlled environment on his terms. But like I said. He doesn’t drug them. Instead, Weinstein disrobes and tries to convince his targets into sleeping with him. Sometimes he goes for the “I need a massage” line. He often says “YOU KNOW HOW MANY WOMEN SLEPT WITH ME AND HOW I HELPED OUT THEIR CAREERS?” to them. That’s on purpose, dangling opportunities in front of his victims like a carrot on a stick. He does get angry too, in the heat of the moment. Angered at the rejections, whenever he switched from his professional tone to the sexually charged one. It all goes back into the control fetish he has. Every time, the women try to escape Harvey’s trap one way or the other. Sometimes he rapes them. Sometimes the women break free. But every time, his targets are left with that traumatic incident scarring them, regardless. The game didn’t end then, either. Harvey ended many of their careers and blacklisted them out of the industry, or he settled.
All these words pale in comparison to just observing Weinstein in his habitat. The intimacy of restaurants feels this close in some of the stories from Harvey’s victims. If you wanted a snapshot “in the life” of Weinstein, it’s with pictures like these. Working to dazzle and wow his target. A flaunting of his sphere of influence.
While Harvey had a thirst for actresses and models, it’s worth pointing out how employees were treated. A few were mentioned in the photo gallery above.
Morgan Shanahan wrote a piece on Buzzfeed reflecting back to the early 2000s when she interned at Miramax. She saw Harvey Weinstein for 15 seconds while on a smoke break as he walked in and out of work. Morgan idolized him, receiving comments on her clothing and body Harvey threw her way. Shanahan says that the normalization of that surface level initial engagement is what opens up the doors for Weinstein’s style of abusing women in Hollywood. Alan Brewer was the lead producer on Playing for Keeps back in 1984. It came as a shock to him to hear from a young lady crew member that Weinstein lured her to his hotel room under false pretenses. Performing the ol’ work turning to sex switcharoo. Allegedly Harvey forced onto the bed and made her give oral. Lisa Rose was only 22 when they got their Miramax gig in London back in 1988. She dealt with Harvey at the Savoy Hotel. When Weinstein wanted a massage, Rose got the memo from other staff to put her foot down and deny his request.
Later on, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Elizabeth Karlsen didn’t even work for Weinstein. She’s a film producer. But this female executive working for Miramax at the time came to her with this sexual harassment horror story about Harvey.
“She came to me directly and said that [Weinstein] had appeared naked in her bedroom,” Karlsen said. They note this happened in a house Miramax rented in London to cut down on costs. “I don’t know the extent of what did happen, but there was an out-of-court settlement and she left the company.”
The decade or year mattered not to Harvey. He was still soliciting sexual advances to temp employees like Emily Nestor towards the end of 2014. Weinstein’s actions are the center of it all. Even in the cases where we don’t know the name of the victim. The Guardian listed several anon victims of Harvey Weinstein that the cops were looking into. An unknown victim spoke up to British police about a sex assault happening back in 1992. The anonymous sexual assault case of 1994 in London, and another anonymous U.K. case in the mid-1990s. Another anonymous female victim alleges three incidents of sexual assault in 2010, 2011, and 2015. A separate lass going through the same thing had it happen to her in 2012, 2013, and 2014. While it wasn’t much of a secret, anonymous cases didn’t always end up in settlements like the one a young woman employee Kathy DeClesis supervised in the early 1990s got. Not to get that confused with the young assistant in New York who got a settlement in 1990. Could these two instances in this New York Times article be referring to the same woman? Who knows. The problem is we have to ask that line of a question in the first place.
In 2015 A female assistant was left in a state of “distraught” by Harvey according to her colleague Lauren O’ Connor. She told Lauren that Weinstein demanded the assistant massaged him while he was naked. “There is a toxic environment for women at this company,” she wrote to the Weinstein company executives in a fiery memo.
Harvey used settlement money to make her go away, too.
It wasn’t just harassment needing cover-up either. In one case highlighted by The New Yorker, an unnamed woman was raped by Harvey in his hotel room. Weinstein allegedly did this to someone he worked with here. The necessity to maintain her livelihood and career quashed her capacity to come forward about it to the public. They weren’t the only one reportedly raped. Someone going by the alias Sarah Smith (wanting to keep their real name anon) spoke with the Daily Mail.
“‘He grabbed me and he was so big and powerful. He just ripped my clothes away and pushed me, threw me down. Then… I kept shouting, “No! Stop!” and tried to push him off. But he forced himself on me.
‘And I remember, this is the one thing I remember most clearly: I thought, I have to keep saying “No!” I was very aware that if a woman says no, it means no. And that was the one thing going through my mind throughout, “No, no, no, no!” It was over very quickly and then he just said, “Get out!”
I remember walking home that night and it was cold and sodden. I was mortified and ashamed. I didn’t tell anyone.
‘We live in more enlightened times now, but back then I just thought no one would believe me.’”
Former employee Ivana Lowell wrote about working at Miramax Books in her Why Not Say What Happened? memoir. This includes the time Harvey showed up to her apartment without notice wanting a massage. Weinstein wasn’t thrilled when this memoir was published and threatened to sue Ivana over it.
So while there’s the Giovanna Rei cases (exposing himself to an actress), and the Lina Esco ones (Harvey repeatedly asking a director for a kiss), there are situations like Laura Madden and Zelda Perkins in the eye of the storm. Getting a paycheck for being in Harvey Weinstein’s orbit.
What was it like for those in The Weinstein Company workplace though? How much did the Weinstein company know?
The New York Times revealed information from sources inside the company shedding light on that. Bob Weinstein and David Glasser’s response to employees about the Harvey allegations was shock and surprise. The board of directors said they had no clue about this behavior going on. According to an anonymous source, Harvey sent an email to the board calling them out about denying knowledge about payoffs. According to David Boies (the lawyer that represented Weinstein during a contract renewal), the Weinstein Company board of directors in 2015 knew of either 3 or 4 settlements Harvey had made during the time of these contract negotiations. Board member Lance Maerov admitted being aware of these settlements, but since there was no financial ties or legal liabilities for the company to worry about, they didn’t mind giving Harvey’s contract a thumbs up. As it turns out, Harvey got paranoid after the Ambra Battilana sting. He hid his personnel file from the board, and instead hired a legal intermediary H. Rodgin Cohen, to review it and speak on its behalf.
The New Yorker posted a few examples of these settlement agreements up close if you wanted a look.
Of course, it seems obligatory to share Harvey Weinstein’s initial response to the allegations made.
“I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior 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.
I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person, and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.
I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.
Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons. Over the last year, I’ve asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me, and she’s put together a team of people. I’ve brought on therapists, and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on. I so respect all women, and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more. Jay Z wrote in 4:44 “I’m not the man I thought I was, and I better be that man for my children.” The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community, but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn’t an overnight process. I’ve been trying to do this for 10 years, and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt, and I plan to do right by all of them.
I am going to need a place to channel that anger, so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom, and I won’t disappoint her.”
So how the hell did it all go down? Part of it was a back and forth between Weinstein and the media. His first interviews were filled with shock and denials. Peppered in there were statements of commitment to self-reflect on how to act like a better person.
It’s easy to assume if Harvey was apologizing because of The New York Times piece, he implicitly agreed there was truth to that. But Weinstein was also going to sue. Charles Harder (one of many attorneys representing Weinstein) announced the lawsuit threat in a statement to Variety:
“It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by 9 different eyewitnesses,” Harder said. “We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations.”
But the Times said they were “confident in the accuracy of our reporting. Mr. Weinstein was aware and able to respond to specific allegations in our story before publication. In fact, we published his response in full,” in their rebuttal.
It’s true. They did.
That contradiction is addressed in an interview Harvey Weinstein did with The Wrap. He states The New York Times didn’t give him adequate time to respond. Harvey explains he was given two days to address the allegations presented. A Times spokesperson considered the time they gave Harvey was sufficient enough. Furthermore asserting that — along with publishing his entire response — Harvey didn’t challenge any of the facts within the original piece.
It started as an indefinite leave of absence. Reading the statement from the Board of Directors gives us a sense of what their first response to Harvey’s public scandal was.
Some director names are missing from that sign-off area at the bottom, there. Variety confirmed three board members: Marc Lasry and Dirk Ziff (billionaire investors), as well as deputy CEO of Technicolor Tim Sarnoff, all resigned.
October 7th marked the day Harvey’s adviser, Lisa Bloom, resigned (sidenote, she had a deal with Weinstein to turn her book into a miniseries). The New York Times said the last two days were filled with a heated back and forth between Bloom and Bob Weinstein plus Lance Maerov. There were disagreements over how Lisa wanted to handle the problem on their hands. Board members disagreed with Bloom’s proposed abrasive method that included publishing photos of Weinstein with his accusers in a friendly capacity after the date of alleged incidents. Another adviser named Lanny Davis had already jumped ship before Lisa.
Let me make it clear. Things were moving pretty damn fast here. Everything was tumultuous and up in the air as everyone was trying to deal with this sudden issue on their doorstep. That Morning Joe chick Mika Brzezinski had a book deal with Weinstein books but vowed to pull out unless Harvey Weinstein resigned.
In the days before, Lisa Bloom was making statements on Twitter and to Variety about how she was standing by Weinstein.
On Twitter the day this all came out.
“Had I been asked by Mr. Weinstein to represent him, I would have declined, because I do not represent individuals accused of sex harassment,” Allred’s statement read. “I only represent those who allege that they are victims of sexual harassment. While I would not represent Mr. Weinstein, I would consider representing anyone who accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual harassment, even if it meant that my daughter was the opposing counsel.”In response to her mother’s shocking remarks, Bloom tells Variety, “I have a different kind of law practice. My mother does only plaintiff side discrimination and harassment work. I have a successful, 12-lawyer general practice law firm that includes business litigation, defamation, revenge porn cases, entertainment matters, family law, and much more. … I believe that we can do good by suing, but also working behind the scenes to encourage accused people to respond with dignity and respect.”
“In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company — Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar — have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately.”
Harvey resisted being fired over that weekend interim between the 5th and the 8th. He had a 20% stake in it, after all.
October 9th it came out that the company was planning to erase Harvey’s name on current TV shows and upcoming movie releases.
On October 10th, PEOPLE revealed Harvey Weinstein’s wife Georgina Chapman left him as a result of these allegations coming out. “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,” she told them in a statement.
Harvey responded to the news by saying he supported her decision, and that the two of them sat down what to do for the sake of their family. The move is more striking once you consider Weinstein’s earlier statements about his wife supporting him beforehand. During the first few days of the allegations being public, he made it seem like Georgina was going to be by his side. Harvey was confident that she and people like Lisa Bloom would be motivating him on his path in his treatment process to becoming a better person.
Now both Lisa and Georgina were gone.
In Bloom’s case, she ultimately came out regretful for the decision to represent Harvey Weinstein in any capacity. The whole Weinstein experience was a rollercoaster for Lisa Bloom. She was someone who made her name by helping people get restraining orders from Rob Kardashian, represented Cosby rape accuser Janice Dickinson, and prevented Mischa Barton’s ex-boyfriend from releasing a sex tape. The public’s perception of her with the Weinstein scandal made it look like she was out of the touch with Harvey. Which in turn makes her look like a failure based on the fact she was there in the first place as an advisory role. In this Buzzfeed News interview, Bloom’s rationale was she thought she could get to the heart of the problem from within on this one. Naively believing Harvey was capable of reacting to all of this publicly in a more favorable fashion. When The New Yorker piece on October 10th upped the allegations to rape, Lisa was as shocked as everyone else.
It didn’t take long for the emotional toll to hit Harvey’s brother Bob, either. This in-depth interview he did with The Hollywood Reporter details the strained relationship between Harvey and Bob Weinstein. It reveals the relationship between the two was already strained, and that Bob did not like his brother. Bob was aware that Harvey engaged in routine cheating on his wife, but not to the egregious extremes that were presented in The New York Times. Bob took care of the business from Los Angeles and Harvey was over in New York. They had barely spoken in the past five years because Bob couldn’t take his cheating, lying, and overall attitude with people. He was often the person who cleaned up after Harvey’s outbursts and messes. When it comes to how Harvey reacted to The New York Times allegations, Bob thinks his brother has no remorse and needs to pay for what he’s done. All in all, the fact these two are brothers means nothing when it comes to the legal disputes entangled between them and The Weinstein Company. Bob outright says he voted to fire Harvey as a member of the board of directors. Even further, he told The Hollywood Reporter that they were working to sever Harvey’s ownership interests in a timely fashion. Bob says The Weinstein Company employees were looking forward to moving on from this controversy and rebuilding. With himself at the wheel taking the steps to get things in a more positive direction. As to where Bob’s optimism came from? The Weinstein Company needed cash and got financial aid from Colony Capital. Colony and Weinstein’s company produced films together, and they were in negotiation talks for selling assets. Obviously, the controversy made the financial situation for Weinstein’s company worse, as nearly every deal that was previously set-up was now terminated.
The day before this interview happened, Amazon Studios cut business relations with the Weinstein Company. Fully aborted a two-season drama series with Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore. They decided to still go forward with The Romanoffs from Matthew Weiner, but in a way that cut Weinstein Company out of the equation. Apple had cut ties on an Elvis series they had planned with Weinstein Company, and Hachette Book Group ended their agreement with Weinstein Books.
Bob Weinstein faced sexual harassment allegations from Amanda Segel (executive producer on The Mist). Summer 2016 onward through a three month period, Bob was overtly romantic and asked her to join him for private dinners. It stopped after Segel got her lawyer to tell The Weinstein Company’s executives that she’d leave the show if Bob didn’t stop. In response, a representative for Bob Weinstein fired back and said Bob and her had dinner in LA in June 2016 and denied claims of alleged behavior. Bob’s lawyer took the counterargument a step further saying Ms. Segel was being misleading and could back that up with email evidence. Further, even if they humored Amanda’s claims there was not any inappropriate physical contact involved. It’s a grey area situation where you need to look at the full story and make up your own mind about who was right or wrong within it.
Harvey ended up losing every kind of professional membership you can imagine. The Directors Guild filed disciplinary charges. The Producers Guild of America voted to ban him for life. The Writers Guild (East and West) condemned Weinstein’s actions. The Television Academy expelled him for life.
All of these groups recognized the importance of how women should feel safe in the entertainment industry, vowing to take steps towards that goal and make a meaningful change. Reforms were needed, as seen in the case of policies from places like SAG-AFTRA.
The board of governors that run the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to expel Harvey Weinstein. The academy also swore to establish an ethical code of conduct for academy members to abide by.
“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 willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior 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.”
This sort of move by the Motion Picture Academy has (pretty much) never been done before. There were calls to act on controversy cases in the past against other Hollywood actors, but nothing then was followed through on. Permanent expulsion happened with Carmine Caridi, but that was for violating Oscar voting rules.
Awards were on the chopping block too. Harvard University revoked the W.E.B. Du Bois medal they gave Weinstein in 2014. It’s Harvard’s highest award they give out for contributions to African/African-American culture. Elsewhere, French President Emmanuel Macron posted on Twitter he was “taking steps” to rescind the Legion of Honor award Weinstein got in 2012 from Nicolas Sarkozy. He was serious. Telling interviewers on TV that he “launched procedures” for the process.
October 19th was a game changer. That day, the Los Angeles Police Department shared something worthwhile.
“#LAPD Robbery Homicide Div has interviewed a potential sexual assault victim involving Harvey Weinstein in 2013. Investigation ongoing,” they tweeted.
According to the replies, it falls under that division because there’s a sexual assault special section for high-profile occasions like this. CNN was able to get direct confirmation from one of the officers. But it was LA Times who scooped the full story.
An unnamed Italian model/actress came forward and spoke to detectives for a few hours that day. She provided an in-depth account of testimony saying that Weinstein sexually assaulted at some hotel back in 2013. Harvey came to the Mr. C Beverly Hills hotel where this victim was staying in February 2013, to attend the 8th annual Los Angeles, Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest. Weinstein invited herself into the victim’s room after midnight, barging his way in. His line of questions for the victim went down the “I want to see you naked” path. Harvey was aggressive and told the victim not to fight him because he was a powerful guy. This culminated with Weinstein grabbing the victim by the hair and raping her in the bathroom.
Given how recent the incident is, defense attorney Dmitry Gorin said it could “open the door to a prosecution if the evidence exists.”
Harvey denied the allegation on the grounds of the complaint being anonymous. This person came forward when he was at a rehab clinic in Arizona.
On October 20th TMZ revealed Weinstein completed his Arizona rehab outpatient program after one week. A psychologist that Harvey let speak to the press told TMZ that “he took it seriously.” They tried putting him in group therapy at first, but doctors came to see possible confidentiality concerns could happen from that. So they switched him to private one-on-one sessions instead. The TMZ article update clarifies Weinstein was spending another month in rehab, beyond this initial one week stay. People think this pricey spa-like treatment is all for show in an effort to keep up appearances. A facade while the story eventually dies down, allowing Harvey to try and irk his way back into the entertainment world. The issue with that is the media cycle with this story expounding on itself as people see this opportunity to call out other people in Hollywood.
The following week on the 26th, reports came out that Weinstein was suing his own company to get access to records and emails. The complaint said Harvey believed the materials within this account could help him defend himself. Not just for exonerating him in the public eye, but to pursue a wrongful termination claim against Weinstein Company. He alleges news reports that came out about his behavior were leaked from his personnel file, breaching confidentiality.
By the end of October, police investigations against Weinstein began ramping up. Beverly Hills police confirmed multiple complaints were sent in, and that they’re investigating. British press outlets said London Metropolitan Police were now looking into allegations spanning from the 1980s to 2015, from incidents brought forward by seven different victims. The source for this was anonymous and police refused to comment on the matter.
By November 2nd, Harvey was facing investigations in Los Angeles and New York. LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein wasn’t providing details, but he said the department was investigating Weinstein allegations from 2015. This was in addition to the report from that Italian actress/model they revealed earlier. Manhattan’s DA office said a senior prosecutor was investigating the allegations brought forth by Paz de la Huerta, who says in 2010 Weinstein raped her twice in her own apartment. Detectives interviewed Huerta and thought her story was believable. In addition, two people are willing to corroborate that testimony.
At the end of the month, there were conflicting stories coming out about the investigation’s status. The CNN interview with Paz’s lawyer Carrie Goldberg shows her people are frustrated at the apparent standstill. The outlet spoke to an NYPD source with knowledge on the investigation, backing that notion up. But the Manhattan District Attorney was quick to respond. In a PEOPLE article that was published hours later, they rejected that characterization.
When it came to how Hollywood and the world reacted, responses came from all over. It was less a matter of if and more of a when. As it became inevitable that everyone had something of their own to say. From the outset on October 5th and 6th, there was a rally of support from Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera, Brooklyn Decker, Brie Larson, and Megan Ellison, among countless others. It shook up the world of politics and caused Democrats who received donations from Weinstein to react. Cory Booker donated his $7800, Elizabeth Warren donated her $5000, and Chuck Schumer donated thousands to women’s charities. Christian Slater focused on the truth being hard, and how these obstacles could be avoided in a society that had universal equal accountability. Ewan McGregor sounded overjoyed about Weinstein facing consequences for his actions, saying he heard rumors of Harvey’s inappropriate behavior in years past. Emma Watson tweeted she stood with all men and women who’ve had to deal with sexual harassment. Leonardo DiCaprio said there’s “no excuse” for sexual assault and harassment, no matter what gender you are or what your career is.
The #MeToo campaign was established on October 15th. “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet,” Alyssa Milano tweeted. It was done at the suggestion of a friend of hers. The purpose was to help the public at large understand how extensive the issue sexual harassment is.
I’m going to need a separate page for this. This is the moment during the Weinstein controversy fallout where we began to see a snowball effect. People saw the momentum of Harvey’s scandal and used that as an opportunity to speak out about cases of sexual harassment and abuse that they’d been keeping quiet until now.
It didn’t stop in Hollywood either. Women in media got together and pooled their knowledge into a list of men who reportedly committed dirty, unwanted deeds. The restaurant industry felt the Weinstein wave after 25 women came forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment at the hands of John Besh. CEO Abigail Johnson of Fidelity Investments told employees that the company has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment. She had to clamp down after reports surfaced that two of their company executives were ousted for sexual harassment. Fashion photographer Terry Richardson acknowledged his controversial workplace practices, which involve having sexually explicit interactions with models. Vogue Magazine ended up banning him.
On October 17th at Elle’s Women in Hollywood event, Jennifer Lawrence told the audience about the rough early days in her career. Film producers told her to lose 15 pounds in two weeks, with the pressure being on as they fired someone already for not losing weight fast enough. It was around this time period when a female producer made Jeniffer do a nude line-up with five other women. Afterward, the producer told Lawrence to use those photographs as inspiration for a crash diet. Other speakers like Kristin Stewart spoke to the effect of knowing first-hand that sexual harassment occurs in even the lower levels of industry work (think camera assistants and makeup artists). Resse Witherspoon made a speech as well, reflecting on the strength of Hollywood’s women for coming forward together about this topic. Witherspoon felt so confident in fact, that she revealed a director assaulted her when she was 16. Reese says there was a lasting frustration at the agents and producers who created the feeling her career’s survival depended on keeping quiet.
Ben Affleck’s initial response to the Weinstein controversy was sadness and anger. In the same fashion as George Clooney and Matt Damon, Ben Affleck was disgusted at the fact someone he worked with used his power to take advantage of women. People got uppity and said Ben has a past with women too. Then Halie Burton posted a video clip of her Total Request Live hosting days, alluding to an incident involving Ben Affleck. The clip has her in a TRL documentary recalling that Ben Affleck “tweaked” her left boob. Looking at a video of the incident itself shows that it did happen.
“I didn’t forget,” Burton said on Twitter.
Affleck acknowledged his mistake in judgment. “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize,” he tweeted.
But Ben was determined to show people he was taking this seriously. A few weeks later Affleck announced he’d donate any future checks he got from Weinstein movies to charity.
Channing Tatum terminated the project he was working on with The Weinstein Company. It was an adaptation of a novel about a boy whose life falls apart because of sexual abuse. Quentin Tarantino did an interview with The New York Times. He was publicly known for his close working relationship with Weinstein, and here Tarantino admitted to knowing “enough to do more than I did,” he says. Regretting not taking more responsibility at the time, Quentin told The Times he heard about what happened with Mira Sorvino and another actress, as well as Rose McGowan’s settlement with Harvey. Tarantino says he thought these were isolated incidents and not part of a much larger routine of misbehavior. Screenwriter Scott Rosenberg said during the golden years of Miramax “everybody-fucking-knew” about Harvey Weinstein’s aggressiveness and lust. He says he knows everyone knew because he talked about Harvey with everyone around town (journalists, screenwriters, agents, actors, etc). Scott says everyone knew something was awful, but not how awful it was. Also, that they lived in an era where there was nowhere to go to address it.
There are people who ask why the men of Hollywood didn’t speak up sooner. The thing is – they did – as we can see in the case of Robert Lindsay. His case didn’t involve sexual harassment, but it shows what Harvey does to people who get in his way. Robert Lindsay and Molly Ringwald made Strike It Rich back in 1990. But it wasn’t called that originally. Harvey changed it from Loser Takes All because he said “Americans couldn’t stand to have the word ‘Loser’ in the title,” according to Ringwald. Her essay explains how Weinstein manipulated aspects of production. Before filming had finished, the two were being asked to deviate from the agreement and film things not in the script. Robert stood up to Harvey about it and the ripple effects impacted his career long-term. He was slated to be a part of Shakespeare in Love, but Weinstein had enough pull with the director to cut Lindsay out.
With that in mind, you can see why some people chose to not make their stories public until now. Harvey Weinstein ran a movie media empire that printed money and fame for the benefit of those who worked there. Instinctively, they’d want to defend that gravy train with an army of lawyers and PR handlers. For any press outlet that wanted to expose Weinstein, they had to confront that titan. The massive size of the company means it takes months and months of work for a reporter to delve into it all. In return, they had to expect lawsuits and attempts at derailment at every turn. Harvey’s women he targeted had to do a dance with the court system too. In doing so, it makes it difficult for the reporters who want to contact the victims.
The best way to sum up the Weinstein experience is by looking at the case of Rose McGowan. She was in the eye of Hurricane Harvey, and it helps demonstrate how all these different elements at play come together. Hell if anyone in the world has the right to become a mega-turbo feminist to the extreme, it’s Rose McGowan. In a little bit, you’ll see why.
As described in this New York Times piece, what Happened to Rose was in early 1997 she was at the Sundance Film Festival for her “Going All the Way” flick. McGowan’s manager Jill Messick arranged for her to meet with Weinstein at the Stein Eriksen Lodge for an early morning meeting. When she got there, assistants had directed her to Harvey’s room. The two had a short business talk in his suite. When Rose went to go leave, Weinstein then mentioned he had a hot tub. After that, McGowan alleges Harvey raped her. At some point later lawyers got involved and confronted Harvey Weinstein about what happened. Eventually, he reached a $100,000 settlement with Rose to cover the costs of therapy. It was after this experience that McGowan’s friends say the actress had a personality shift. She started making strange life choices like dating Marilyn Manson and showing up to an MTV awards show pretty much in the nude (her dress was a bunch of tiny beads).
In the years that followed, word got around Hollywood about what happened to Rose, according to Alec Baldwin.
Rose McGowan first tweeted her story back in October 2016. While she didn’t call out anyone by name, the details given are enough for people to figure out the rest. This will trigger Weinstein into a state of paranoia and he’d retaliate. But again, we’ll go over that in a bit.
In the weeks prior to the Weinstein article dropping, McGowan came to realize there was no confidentiality clause in the settlement she signed so long ago. Word had gotten around about what happened to Rose enough that someone from Weinstein’s camp offered her $1 million in “hush money” back in September. Rose was intrigued by the offer given in part by the fact she spent all her cash taking care of her father on his deathbed.
“I had all these people I’m paying telling me to take it so that I could fund my art,” McGowan said. She upped the ante to $6 million. “I figured I could probably have gotten him up to three. But I was like — ew, gross, you’re disgusting, I don’t want your money, that would make me feel disgusting.”
In the final days before the New York Times article came out, she turned the offer down.
It became clear as this Weinstein situation played itself out online, that Rose McGowan was among those impacted the hardest. The day after shit hit the fan, McGowan called out Amazon’s Roy Price for entering any sort of deal with Harvey in the first place. Rose says this was done despite warning Price about Weinstein’s predatory behavior. In a series of tweets to Jeff Bezos, she provides more context to how things unfolded.
“I told the head of your studio that HW raped me. Over & over I said it. He said it hadn’t been proven. I said I was the proof. I had already sold a script I wrote to your studio, it was in development. When I heard a Weinstein bailout was in the works I forcefully begged studio head to do the right thing. I was ignored. Deal was done. Amazon won a dirty Oscar. I called my attorney & said I want to get my script back, but before I could, #2
@amazonstudios called to say my show was dead.”
During the rest of October 2017, she went all-in guns blazing, going to war against Harvey Weinstein, his allies, and the Hollywood establishment. At one point there was a petition effort launched for getting the Weinstein Company board to dissolve. Rose’s stance was the Weinstein Company was tainted beyond redemption or repair. Everyone who worked there is in their own ways responsible for a part in Harvey’s actions. The company wasn’t the limit, here. Anyone who had a hand in in Weinstein projects in general who helped propagate his sick desires was on McGowan’s list of targets.
Rose McGowan referred to her public support on social media as the #ROSEARMY. In the face of the Weinstein situation coming out, she took up the mantle as being a leading voice for the victims. Initially, Rose tried rallying the public masses and other Hollywood women to come join her in speaking out. She got frustrated that people weren’t fast or hardcore enough on the front, and to remedy that must’ve decided to just take the helm herself. With #ROSEARMY she called out people like the talent agencies (UTA/CAA/ICM are named) who set women up with Weinstein in the first place.
“I am a Witch. And I will hunt wrongdoers. In Hollywood, in government, in business. Stop hurting us or there will be consequence.
#ROSEARMY,” she tweeted.
Rose ballbusted the media too. When NBC reported Weinstein in a humanizing light, she accused the company of “giving rapists a platform.” McGowan called out Matt Belloni of The Hollywood Reporter in particular for having a hand in quashing a Roy Price exposé. In addition, she made sure people didn’t forget the LA Times killed a Weinstein story from hitting the public back in 1997.
On October 12th Twitter locked her out of her account for violating site rules. While many believed it was a result of her calling out Ben Affleck and saying he knew more about Weinstein than he implies. But the Twitter suspension ended up being because McGowan shared a screenshot with phone numbers in it, according to the company’s statement on the matter.
In an interview with Variety, Robert Rodriguez said he knew about Weinstein’s sexual assault of Rose McGowan. Robert and Rose were in a relationship from 2006 to 2009, and he cast McGowan as a “badass” to get back at Harvey. The story between the two is long but worthwhile to read when you have the time.
But to cut to the chase, Rodriguez explains.
“But because of the NDA Rose told me she had signed, at Rose’s request I had to keep it quiet from everyone until now as to why we were even making that film together, especially Harvey. We knew that strategically we couldn’t rub it in his face why we were REALLY doing this movie, because then he’d just bury the movie, not sell it well, and everyone would lose. To our horror, Harvey buried our movie anyway, and because we did not want to risk getting sued, we never spoke publicly about the matter. It would have been much easier on both of us if we could have just revealed why we were doing it.”
What happened next seems like it’d come out from a movie as outrageous and over-the-top as Grindhouse. On November 6th, Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker blew the lid on Harvey Weinstein’s efforts to suppress the controversy surrounding his behavior.
In May 2017 Rose McGowan got an email from someone named Diana Filip. She claimed to be the deputy head in charge of investments at a firm called Reuben Capital Partners. Based out of London. Filip told Rose she was starting a program to combat workplace discrimination against women and offered McGowan $60,000 to speak at the launch event. Over the next few months, the two hit it off on that common interest in lady liberation. Rose told Ronan Farrow that Filip was kind to her. Diana had a keen interest in McGowan and wanted to invest in Rose’s production company. willing to meet them from coast to coast. Los Angeles, New York, didn’t matter where. What was important was during this time Filip squeezed more info out McGowan. This included Rose revealing to Diana she spoke to Ronan Farrow. As a result, Filip tried to get in Farrow’s good graces. Unsuccessfully. As Filip met up with McGowan more often, they eventually introduced another Black Cube agent named Paul. They said they were a co-worker over at Reuben Capital Partners as well. The goal of this effort was to get more leverage out of Rose McGowan.
A reporter over at New York, Ben Wallace, was also looking into Weinstein. They told Farrow some lady named Anna told Ben she had some Harvey story to share with him, getting in contact back during October 2016. It turns out Anna was the same lady going by the name Diana Filip. They ended up having two meetings and it set off some red flags for Wallace. Anna wouldn’t tell Ben who gave her his contact info, and her line of questioning pried into the details of Wallace’s Weinstein investigation. During their second meet-up it became clear to Ben she was recording the encounter. Diana Filip/Anna went after Jodi Kantor of the New York Times much like she went after Wallace and Farrow.
The cell-phone numbers that Rose and Ben Wallace were given ended up disconnected. From the looks of it, Reuben Capital Partners was a front company. The address they listed on their website was owned by another company that never even heard of them. Ronan confirmed with sources familiar with this Black Cube stuff that the firm makes up companies for their agents. The one Filip used was one of those. In a statement given to Farrow, Black Cube says their work follows and respects the law. Both in the United States and internationally. It’s pointed out that this friction the firm’s tactics has with the law are commonplace. Sources told Ronan they thought Harvey hired Black Cube to investigate business rivals. But the contracts and early targets of interest from the get-go were reporters and actresses.
Here’s the 5-page contract signed between Black Cube and Harvey Weinstein’s people on July 11th, 2017.
The outlined objectives involved a two-fold endeavor. One was to stop the publication of the New York Times piece that’d come out on October 5th. While the other was to get content from Rose McGowan’s memoirs. While they didn’t stop the article, Ronan says documents indicate Black Cube handed over a hundred pages of transcripts relating to the book. Taken from hours of conversations that their female private investigator recorded. Weinstein’s reps, of course, deny any “assertion” Harvey got his hands on this book.
The contract they agreed to in July had bonus goals called “success fees.” Black Cube would score an extra $300,000 if they provided “intelligence which will directly contribute to the efforts to completely stop the Article from being published at all in any shape or form.” Another goal had a $50,000 reward for getting a “readable” and “legally admissible” copy of the second part of Rose McGowan’s book. Black Cube’s toolset and capacities are also described within this document. Page 2, in The Research Team portion. Intelligence analysts working social media to gather data and find patterns of behavior. Something called “Avatar Operators” for media relations (mostly for making fake IDs). But don’t get that confused with the Operations experts they’ve got for social engineering assignments. The most important element at play here is the full-time agent “Anna.” Working out of Los Angeles and New York, and making themselves ready at a moment’s notice for Weinstein at any point in a given day over the term of the contract. Ronan said sources confirmed this was who Rose McGowan and Wallace came into contact with.
An “investigative journalist” was also thrown into the mix by Black Cube, at the request of Weinstein. This journalist had to do ten interviews a month for four months, to get $40,000. Sources and documents indicated to Ronan that this freelancer got a plethora of contact information from Black Cube. In addition, the interview work this freelancer did was given to Harvey’s lawyers for review. The person in question said they were working on their own Harvey Weinstein story using Black Cube’s info as a foundation. But he denied that Harvey or Black Cube paid him.
In January 2017 some freelancer called Rose McGowan and recorded the phone call without her knowledge. Afterward reporting to Black Cube. Annabella Sciorra told Farrow about the phone call she got in August. Sciorra found it to be bizarre and hung up rather fast. Ben Wallace and Ronan Farrow got calls too.
“It struck me as B.S.,” Annabella told Farrow. “And it scared me that Harvey was testing to see if I would talk.”
There were other journalists in Harvey’s corner. Ronan Farrow mentions a December 2016 email exchange between himself and Dylan Howard of American Media Inc (the folks who publish the National Enquirer). The contents in question were goods from one of Howard’s reporters, seemed to be relating towards disproving Rose McGowan’s rape allegation. After thanking him for sending a contact list, Howard told Harvey about a call one of his reporters made to Elizabeth Avellan. Robert Rodriguez’s ex-wife. He left her for McGowan. Avellan remembered the interview when Farrow asked her about it. This reporter was harassing her with phone calls and eventually submitted to this incessant nagging out of fear the guy would go after her kids. The long exchange that resulted ended up being a quote mine for slammer quotes against Rose McGowan. The call was recorded (against Avellan’s wishes), passed on to Dylan Howard, who shared it with Weinstein in great excitement. Dylan Howard’s statement to Ronan about it was a self-justification that he felt obligated to help Harvey. This was due to the fact American Media Inc. had a television-production agreement at the time with Weinstein. Dylan asserts he separated this project from his journalism duties.
Harvey’s ties to the Kroll agency has more of a history to it. The 2015 settlement Ambra Battilana Gutierrez came to with Harvey mandated she give Kroll all her technological devices. So the firm could wipe evidence. Ronan highlights Kroll’s recent work too. October 2016 emails from Knoll’s chairman Dan Karson to Weinstein include things like photographs of McGowan and Weinstein together at events where assaults allegedly took place.
The investigative firm known as PSOPS (based in Los Angeles) had their investigators Jack Palladino and Sara Ness putting together personality dossiers. It got into the personal stuff and made notes on info that could be used to discredit them. To give an example. December 2016 Sara Ness sent Harvey over a hundred pages on Rose McGowan research she did. On one hand, you’ve got the nitty-gritty details like where she lived and relationships she had. Things of that nature. But on the other, things were taken a different direction. How to make Rose look like a hypocrite, things in the past she lied or exaggerated about, and attacks on her character. There were several investigative firms involved in making these in-depth personal profiles. Ronan notes a focus they had on particular attributes of these women on speaking out against sex abuse. They had Rosanna Arquette, traced her relationship with Rose McGowan, and combed her social media for posts relating to the topic of sex abuse.
To give an example – if the firm was hypothetically still collecting social media data for Harvey? They’d consider a simple tweet like this a gold mine.
It was all about digging into who the Weinstein reporters’ sources were. Finding out where they came from. The reporters themselves got probed by Harvey’s investigators. In April 2017 Ness of the PSOPS group sent Weinstein an analysis of Ronan Farrows’ interactions with “persons of interest” in the overall story. It went into the minutia of things like “is Jodi Kantor following Ronan Farrow on Twitter” and small stuff like that. But on a more serious note, they went after the sources both Kantor and Farrow interviewed. On one occasion Farrow says they tried getting Ben Wallace in a meeting. Based on the timing and people involved it looked like an ambush. Emails Karson sent Harvey included extensive background research on both Ben Wallace and his editor-in-chief at New York, Adam Moss. They looked into incidents as far back as a U.K. libel suit from 2008 about the rare-wine market. PSOPS was ready to get Wallace’s ex-wife involved, doing a character profile on her.
Ben Wallace and the editors at New York ended up putting their Harvey Weinstein work on hold in January 2017. He hit a brick wall when it came to getting victims on the record. But there was also this interference playing a factor. Weinstein communicated with these private investigators via his law firms. This was intentional. Harvey wanted the shield of attorney-client privilege on his side to prevent any of this from being brought up in court.
David Boies is named as one of Harvey’s lawyers at the center of signing off on all this. His signature is on the Black Cube contract that directs the firm to find information in order to stop the New York Times from publishing their article. But within this same period, Boies also served as legal representation for the Times. He was hasty on talking to The New Yorker but he came around in light of the questions Ronan’s story raised about David’s place in all this. The response Boies gave was a denial about the circumstances being a conflict of interest. But he regrets getting involved with these investigators (paying two of them and getting reports from one) in retrospect. “We should not have been contracting with and paying investigators that we did not select and direct,” Boies told Ronan. “At the time, it seemed a reasonable accommodation for a client, but it was not thought through, and that was my mistake. It was a mistake at the time.”
Boies had made it clear to Harvey from the start. The only thing that’d stop the New York Times article was somehow proving no rape took place. David says he didn’t pressure any news outlet and thought the profiling work to try and sabotage the Weinstein reporters wasn’t appropriate. Generally speaking, David regrets not doing more to rectify the Weinstein issue when it came to his attention back in 2015.
Weinstein got people involved in helping his goals whether they want to or not. Harvey asked Asia Argento in December 2016 to go to Italy and vouch to private investigators on his behalf. She was going to say yes until her partner Anthony Bourdain convinced her to back out. It was commonplace for actresses to be enlisted by Weinstein to try and milk reporters for their sources of info. Weinstein roped two former employees, Denise Doyle Chambers and Pamela Lubell, to unknowingly get involved in ID’ing people who might rat to the press about Harvey allegations. It was done under the guise of being “research” for a Miramax book. But the lists in question were given to the Black Cube firm. In Lubell’s case, they had visited Weinstein’s office in July 2017 to sell him some app she was working on. During their meeting, their chat turned into Harvey suggesting Lubell and Doyle Chambers write a book about the old days of Miramax. It entailed writing employee names down and contacting them. They came back to Weinstein in August with this list. That’s when Harvey pulled the bait and switch. He put the book on hold and asked both Chambers and Lubell to call their friends on the list. To see if the press got in touch with them. In September this extended to calling not just the friends anymore. But now people just connected to particular actresses.
In the end, it didn’t even matter. On October 5th Harvey Weinstein threw every scrap of info he could at the New York Times story when it came out. But none of the pictures or counterarguments he had made a difference.
But the worst was yet to be revealed.
On November 14th, The Hollywood Reporter revealed McGowan turned herself in to the police on felony drug charges. The warrant went out back on February 1st. Where the charges came from is McGowan left luggage behind on a United airplane flight, back on January 20th. Ronan Farrow did an interview with Rose to go over how everything went down with this particular snafu.
She landed at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on the 20th because she was attending the Women’s March happening the following day. The police report says at 2:32 AM on the morning of the 21st, airport staff contacted Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department. A worker found McGowan’s wallet when they were cleaning out the plane. Two small bags of what was apparently (according to tests done) cocaine were inside. Airport police detective Jerrod Huges called McGowan and told her to swing by to get her wallet back. He didn’t tell her about the cocaine in that call. Rose was unsure if Hughes was a real detective or not. McGowan recently started speaking up about Weinstein (not by name but by title) and was worried private investigators were stalking her. She ended up leaving the Women’s March by bus and not the airport, avoiding the detective. An anonymous throwaway account told Rose: “You left your wallet on your Saturday flight with your 2 bags of coke,” in a message. McGowan saved screencaps. By February 1st, a warrant for McGowan’s arrest was issued. She says she was going to turn herself in but given the fact she was being followed, McGowan didn’t trust anything with this situation.
The key bit of this happens later on. In September Weinstein had a meeting with his private eyes about trying to get McGowan arrested. Harvey wanted to leak the info to the New York Post. At some point after, a reporter from that outlet contacted McGowan about the arrest warrant. Beating the snoop to the punch, Rose tweeted about the charges ahead of time.
Rose’s argument is the drugs were planted, and she entered a not guilty plea. Given the particulars of the Weinstein situation, there are solid odds in her favor in having that defense hold up in court.
On November 18th, The Observer shared an extract of Harvey Weinstein’s secret hit list. In a desperate effort to go after people who knew about his behaviors, Weinstein kept a tally of nearly 100 people and what they knew and if they’d go public about it. Reporters allege this is was distributed to the team Harvey hired to suppress his victims. More than 50 of the names were given a special red highlight to specify their greater importance as a target.
While the Weinstein Company bought time by selling Paddington 2 to Warner Bros. for $28 million, the walls of finance are still closing in. They didn’t get the full amount with $20 million going to Canal Plus (the film producer). In one corner they’ve got a lawsuit from Al International Holdings. According to the November 10th filings, Weinstein Company allegedly defaulted on a $45 million loan. The fate of that is to be decided on December 13th. But the suit is aimed against both the Weinstein Company and Harvey Weinstein, separately. This is due to the fact Harvey signed a personal guarantee for the loan in question. If Weinstein Company goes for bankruptcy, it freezes them out of the litigation process. Variety says the company is reaching out to potential bidders on assets. But these interested buyers tell Variety the company’s record-keeping is atrocious.
That isn’t the only lawsuit on Harvey’s plate. Earlier that week Gloria Allred filed a lawsuit (for sexual battery, gender violence, battery, assault, and negligence) on behalf of an anonymous actress. Jane Doe says she was raped by him at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2016. Further, alleging the company was keenly aware of Weinstein’s “repeated acts of sexual misconduct” prior. Harvey’s lawyer says he’s going for the defense of believing that all of these relationships were consensual.
The day after that particular lawsuit, both Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company (Miramax too) were hit with a class action. This suit desires to reclaim financial damages for the ladies and chaps who wanted to work in Weinstein’s movies but got stonewalled, as well as those lured into sexual scenarios they didn’t consent to. The Jane Doe at the center of this had a Weinstein encounter much like Argento or McGowan but hers involves a Miramax office audition. Instead of a company office, she was lured into a private one of Weinstein’s. Harvey demanded to see her breasts. Jane Doe refused. He locked her out and left her in a dark stairwell. This class action was brought forward by Cris Armenta, and she’s got experience with these sorts of matters in addition to helping women in Hollywood.
“The goal is to create a national, cohesive vehicle so that the claims of the plaintiffs who are scattered across the country — if not the world — can be handled in a very expedient and efficient fashion,” Armenta said to the Wrap. Using RICO “gives all woman across the country and the world the ability to bring their claims in as safe an environment we can create.”
By the end of November, Michael Moore’s fight with Weinstein was spilling over into the public sphere. Snagging this exclusive on this were the folks over at Deadline. The fuss was over Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 documentary. The movie itself is a sort of sequel to his 2004 project Fahrenheit 9/11. This time he’d be going over Donald Trump’s election win in the 2016 Presidential race and his first year in office. The distribution rights the Weinsteins have allowed them to block Moore and his people from setting it with a theater distributor or outlet to broadcast from (think Netflix or something). The Weinstein brothers had already paid Moore a little over $2 million out a $6 million agreement. This cash gave Michael the funds necessary to make the thing a reality. But the arrangement was made before the New York Times article came out on October 5th. Now the Weinstein Company wants their dough back, while Michael wants them to just forfeit as a loss. He doesn’t want to pay a dime to someone he sees as a sexual predator.
By erasing Harvey Weinstein from history and taking his name off of the credits in his work, we’re enabling this sort of disaster to repeat itself. There’s a reason why it was an “open secret” in Hollywood all these years. Further than that, there’s a reason why a frenzy of people came forward after Harvey’s misdeeds were made public knowledge. Entertainment industry’s standard protocol stuck with always taking the easy route out, instead of embracing the hard truths. Sticking to the bottom line of making sure a production turns out fine creates a cluster of “stars” and high-level players, with planets of enablers and yes-men orbiting them to make sure everything runs smooth. That dynamic is designed in such a way that it sustains itself for as long as it can. Even as the whispers of bad behavior seep in. Initial reactions from everyone are just to keep their head down and keep working. Not looking into matters further if they don’t have to. Harvey knew that. Moreover, he bragged to people about hooking up with women. This cycle of self-temptation made Weinstein want to keep going. Push the envelope a step further and give himself that twisted thrill. It’s not just the story with Hollywood, but any industry. Now that the world has seen this Weinstein monster in front of them, people are embracing that reality full force. In a way, it’s because they want to return their lives to the state of ease it was before.
What people see in the case of Harvey Weinstein is someone with a sense of entitlement, who perfected their predatory nature to get what they wanted. The reason that his victims stayed quiet for as long as they were because Harvey mastered the psychological mind game of wielding power over others. He could keep people quiet, sure. But if Weinstein made his own targets silence themselves? That was his sure-fire pass to get away with acting like he did. Every problem starts with the action. That means putting Harvey Weinstein’s actions targeting women as well as how he attacked his business opponents at the center of discussion. From that foundation, it’s much easier to have an even playing field for discussion.
I don’t think any of us are fools. The clear solution to fixing this problem is making it a smooth process for victims to report sexual harassment and assault. In doing so, making a long-term deterrence for that behavior in the workplace. We gotta make sure this is done properly, though. Taking it too far will end up causing an environment where men and women are fearful of each other. But on the other hand, there needs to be a decent dose of the “scare tactic” technique involved. That happens by looking at the issues at hand with a critical eye. By making the lines of appropriate behavior have much less of a grey area, clear definitions of what’s ok and what’s not. That grey area in-between is the breeding ground for the problems we’ve got now.
What exactly are those problems? Next, we’ll take a look into that.