Weinstein allegations swell as film industry faces scrutiny
The avalanche of assault accusations against Harvey Weinstein grew Wednesday as more actresses came forward with explosive charges against the movie mogul, whose lurid behavior has opened a Pandora's Box of Hollywood harassment and hypocrisy.
The new claims landed as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the Cannes film festival organization declared the abusive behavior repugnant, but also as film figures warned that such actions have gone virtually unchecked in an industry that for years has seen itself in a progressive light.
The Weinstein revelations are just "the tip of the iceberg," comedy actor and director Rob Schneider told TMZ.
"There's not one actress who doesn't have a story," he said, adding that he himself experienced sexual harassment by a male director when he was younger.
Amid the gravity of the situation, the Academy, which has awarded 81 Oscars to Weinstein films produced by Miramax and then the Weinstein Company, announced it would convene a meeting on Saturday to "discuss the allegations against Weinstein and any actions warranted by the Academy."
Weinstein, 65, has denied all charges, according to a statement from his spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister. On Wednesday she offered "no comment" when asked about reports Weinstein was heading to Europe to enter a rehabilitation facility.
The scandal has rocked Hollywood, with the list of the Oscar-winner's harassment victims also reportedly now including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rosanna Arquette and French actress Judith Godreche.
But a new angle to allegations emerged Tuesday when three women, including an Italian film star, claimed that Weinstein raped them.
The Weinstein Company board has sacked him, and his wife Georgina Chapman told celebrity magazine People she was leaving Weinstein, with whom she has two children.
- 'Everyone knew' -
"I am profoundly devastated. I have lost my wife and kids, whom I love more than anything else," Weinstein told The New York Post, adding that: "I hope one day we can reconcile."
The latest allegations portray Weinstein as a ruthless sexual predator, who on at least one occasion sought to engage an actress in a threesome with another woman.
"He asked us to kiss and she began some sort of advances upon his direction," actress Cara Delevingne, who is also a fashion model, said in an Instagram post detailing an encounter at a hotel.
When Delevingne got up to hurriedly leave, she wrote, "he walked me to the door and stood in front of it and tried to kiss me on the lips."
The bluntest accusation came from Lea Seydoux, an award-winning French film star who wrote a devastating first-person account of her run-ins with Weinstein and others in an industry that essentially turned a blind eye to the abuse.
"That's the most disgusting thing. Everyone knew what Harvey was up to and no one did anything," Seydoux wrote in The Guardian.
She said she quickly figured out Weinstein's motives when they met. "He had a lecherous look. He was using his power to get sex," she wrote.
"He's big and fat, so I had to be forceful to resist him. I left his room, thoroughly disgusted."
Some of the worst misconduct allegations emerged in a New Yorker magazine investigation published Tuesday, which details charges by Italian actress Asia Argento that Weinstein forced oral sex and intercourse on her 20 years ago.
She told the publication she had maintained her silence until now for fear that Weinstein would "crush" her.
Another instance involved model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, whom the New Yorker said Weinstein met in March 2015.
- Bunga bunga -
According to the New Yorker, Gutierrez says Weinstein "lunged at her, groping her breasts and attempting to put a hand up her skirt" at a meeting in his offices in Tribeca.
She reported the incident, and the New York Police Department asked her to wear a wire.
In the audio of their conversation which was released by the magazine, Weinstein can be heard apologizing for grabbing her breast and then repeatedly pressuring her to come into his hotel room.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance decided at the time not to press charges after it emerged the young woman had attended one of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's infamous "bunga bunga" sex parties.
Amid concerns about potential criminality, Vance appeared before reporters Wednesday to justify the decision.
"Our sex crimes prosecutors made a determination that this was not going to be a provable case, and so the decision was made not to go forward," Vance said.
"Obviously he has some serious issues, and the tape is terrible."
The abundance of charges have sent tremors through the Democratic Party, whose heavyweights Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama stand accused of having waited too long after the revelations broke to disavow their friend and party donor.
Republicans have launched withering accusations that liberal elites were protecting one of their own, as those in President Donald Trump's party demanded that Democrats jettison contributions by the movie mogul.
Since 1990, Weinstein and his wife have personally donated more than $1.4 million to various Democratic candidates or groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
- One Final Offer From the EU to the UK
- Anti-Dumping Bill Gazetted Protection for Local Industries
- Tourism Statistics SLTDA disputes CCC
- Smugglers detained at BIA
- SI injured during hooch raid Falls from third floor balcony
- 1070 traffic fatalities in 2017 121 murders during same period - Police
- Rattota Police OIC suspended
- Technical error in Diversity Visa Programme DV-2019 US Embassy says re-register
- Dr. Rajitha Senaratne addressing the WHC in Berlin:Effective NC Disease control by 2020
- Janjua meets Ranil
- UNP Annual Convention after the Budget
- Speaker instructs Finance Ministry:Appoint team to act on COPE findings
- Villagers ask for return of Iranaitheevu
- Mezhivanam Villagers face severe hardships Malnourishment on the increase
- UNP is drifting like a rudderless ship Pradeep
- Meteoroid crash over southern coast
- Speaker instructs Finance Ministry: Appoint team to act on COPE findings
- New Constitution People mislead by false propaganda AFRIEL
- Death threats to Bonds Probe witness CID launches probe
- Kiriella reveals he has Rs 400 M in bank accounts
- Festering SAITM issue President to address the nation
- Ransomware could affect smartphones – SLCERT
- Ranil slams media on Prelate’s statement Diyawadana Nilame to be questioned
- Corruption, fraud and misappropriation COPE finds 15 State bodies guilty Losses to Govt runs into billions
- Quo Vadis, China?
- Sadeera’s inclusion will strengthen batting Sri Lanka face uphill task
- Anika into semis in Singapore
- ‘Singer Cup’ U-19 Schools Cricket 15-year-old Pawan scores century
- Sheoran takes Sri Lanka Golf title in thriller
- Century-makers on ODI debut
- Hazard rescues Chelsea
- Hamilton in driving seat for fourth world title
- The best I can do is answer with my bat : Imam-ul-Haq
- ‘Singer Cup’ U-13 Div.I Schools Cricket Ehelepola scores century
- 15th Blue and Gold Hockey Sevens next weekend
- All Island Schools U-20 Hockey Championship Seethadevi emerge champions
- AVIC Powers Astoria Women’s Futures Tennis
- Kusal Perera ruled out from Pakistan T20Is
- De Villiers hits thrilling century
- Sri Lanka ‘A’ tour of West Indies 2nd Four day match starts today
- Sluggish Sri Lanka move slowly
- ‘Singer Cup’ U-19 Schools Cricket St. John’s Jaffna create major upset
- SL women’s tour of WIndies T20 matches start today
- Sri Lanka approaching Pakistan visit cautiously
- Wattala Antonian Sixes 2017 this weekend
- Sustainability a priority for Port City Project
- National Chamber hosts Iranian Ambassador
- Fair demand for Ceylon Tea from Japan, China
- China third quarter growth meets expectations at 6.8%
- The rise of consumerism Thorstein Veblen’s conspicuous consumption now a global phenomenon
- HNB announces seasonal discounts
- Janashakthi takes home Gold at Effie Awards
- Standard Chartered running seasonal promo
- Dialog launches first TIER III Certified Data Centre in Sri Lanka
- CSE to add dollar-denominated board
- SAP benefits in tea industry
- Palladium Holdings aims to spur infrastructure development
- CA Sri Lanka National Conference acquires top industry sponsors
- CDB Sisudiri celebrates 10th anniversary
- Mobitel debuts NB-IoT Network at Techno 2017
- Tobacco farmers seek divine assistance To avert imminent tobacco cultivation ban
- Another Effie Gold win by MullenLowe
- Asian shares trade mixed After China GDP meets expectations
- Economy hurt by poor collaboration and extensive state involvement
- BOI defends Indian footwear giant Veekesy’s Sri Lankan presence
- LAW OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE Part XIX Joinder of Charges III
- Implications of Provincial Police Departments
- Cairo: Most dangerous megacity for women
- Proxy Waiting
- Shortage of Science Graduates
- Fall of Raqqa
- UN urges B’desh to move Rohingya refugees
- Flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in the history of the world
- Sucking it up
- Ahikuntika community of Sri Lanka Diminishing cultural traits
- Large Industrial Zone for Thulhiriya
- Even the PM should be in Prison for the frauds
- Would like more Pradeshiya Sabhas for N’Eliya-Radhakrishnan
- UNHRC Resolution 30/1 Implications for Sri Lanka (Part II) (Based on a presentation to the OPA)
- Electoral Reforms are for People’s Benefit
- Managing perception with international community
- Salient points of horoscope Assessment
- KARMIC CONNECTIONS IN THE BIRTH CHARTS 2
- Dream of travelling abroad?
- Mystery behind Osama bin Laden explained
- Three poses to relieve trauma
- Socio-economic developments from critical perspective
- KAZUO ISHIGURO – THE NEW NOBEL LAUREATE
- The Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2018 –Internationally acclaimed authors to take part
- Portrayal of country and nature
- Resonant Field Imaging - a Marvel in Technology
- Shankar’s International Children’s Competition 2018
- Kite Surfing Lanka Kalpitiya An experience of a lifetime
- Ella and mini Adam’s Peak
- A cave of history -Ravana Cave
- Making plus-sized clothing trendy
- Pyjamas go viral as well - Sharmila Srikumar
- Giving back to Society
- Double treat at Pinnawala
- Mental illness a health issue Replacing stigma with compassion
- Studying to be ahead