Harvey Weinstein Accused Of More Misconduct, Including Sexual Assault, By 13 Women : The Two-Way : NPR
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Editor’s note: This story includes explicit language describing alleged sexual assaults.
New allegations against the film executive Harvey Weinstein emerged Tuesday, including multiple instances of sexual assault and a recording by New York City police in which he admits to groping a woman.
The details were published in The New Yorker, the result of a ten-month investigation by reporter Ronan Farrow. In the course of his investigation, Farrow says he was told by 13 women that Weinstein had sexually harassed and assaulted them – allegations that add to reporting last week in The New York Times that Weinstein had paid off accusers for decades.
Since the Times story broke, four members of the Weinstein Company’s all-male board resigned; the remaining four members (including his brother, Bob) fired Weinstein on Sunday. They issued a statement Tuesday saying they were “shocked and dismayed” by the allegations, which they called “an utter surprise.” They said the “alleged actions are antithetical to human decency.”
Three women, including the Italian actress Asia Argento and a former aspiring actress named Lucia Evans, said that Weinstein had raped them, “allegations that include Weinstein forcibly performing or receiving oral sex and forcing vaginal sex,” Farrow writes. “Four women said that they experienced unwanted touching that could be classified as an assault.”
The New Yorker‘s investigation also revealed a recording from a sting operation by the New York Police Department in 2015, in which Weinstein tries to convince a Filipina-Italian model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez to sit in the bathroom while he showers. She says no repeatedly; Weinstein claims she is embarrassing him. When Gutierrez asks why he touched her breasts the previous day, Weinstein replies, “I’m used to that.”
Farrow tells NPR’s All Things Considered that once he began investigating, “when you talk to one woman about this, they refer to having heard from other women stories that were … similar not just in a general sense, but had uncanny patterns between them.”
Some have called the allegations against Weinstein an open secret – a secret that seems to have been kept by a mix of shame and fear of retribution.
Argento, the Italian actress, said that Weinstein had forcibly performed oral sex on her, but that she was scared of speaking up for fear that he would “crush” her. “I know he has crushed a lot of people before,” she said.
A spokeswoman for Weinstein said in a statement to the New Yorker that he believes all the relationships were consensual: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr.Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”
In a previous statement to the Times, Weinstein wrote that he “came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. … I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”
The allegations of sexual harassment and assault come from women who were often in their early or mid-20s, and who felt intimidated by Weinstein’s power. Anonymous employees of the Weinstein Companies told the New Yorker that for decades, Weinstein would arrange business meetings at hotels with young women who were actresses or models.
One female executive told Farrow that some female company employees were made to be “honeypots” : they would initially be present at the hotel meetings before being dismissed by Weinstein, leaving the young actress or model alone with him.