Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie claim that Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed them in an explosive story in the New York Times. The report follows a bombshell Oct. 5 piece in the paper chronicling decades of sexual harassment allegations and financial settlements against the studio mogul.
“I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” Paltrow said about her experience as a then 22-year-old on the set of 1996’s “Emma,” an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel that was one of her first big roles.
Jolie recalled a similar incident, saying she was propositioned in a hotel room during the release of 1998’s “Playing by Heart.”
“I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” Jolie said in an email to the Times. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
The second Times story, bylined by Jodi Kantor and Rachel Abrams, hit hours after the New Yorker produced a deeply reported, explosive piece alleging that Weinstein raped three women, including actress Asia Argento. The New Yorker piece also claims that Weinstein harassed Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette. The Times reporters also spoke to Arquette about an encounter with Weinstein in which he propositioned her and threatened to derail her career after she rejected his advances.
The mushrooming sexual harassment and assault scandal has rocked Hollywood. On Sunday, Weinstein was fired from the Weinstein Company, the indie studio he co-founded in 2005. He has denied the allegations and said the relationships described in the Times and New Yorker stories were consensual. The alleged instances of harassment date back to Weinstein’s days running Miramax, an indie studio that was bought by the Walt Disney Co.
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Paltrow reported the incident to Brad Pitt, her boyfriend at the time. He confronted Weinstein about his alleged advances, and Weinstein later told her not to tell any other people about what had transpired. Pitt confirmed her account to the Times. Paltrow did continue working with Weinstein, winning an Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love,” which he produced. However, she tells the Times that their business association eventually soured.
Spokespeople for the Weinstein Company and Disney did not respond to requests for comment. However, many entertainment industry figures and politicians have released statements, with the likes of Ben Affleck, Meryl Streep, and Hillary Clinton condemning Weinstein’s behavior.
Weinstein’s brother, Bob Weinstein, and the company’s chief operating officer, David Glasser, are leading the studio following his ouster. They plan to rename the company.
Paltrow told the Times that she was coming forward to send a message that this type of casting couch culture is finished.
“We’re at a point in time when women need to send a clear message that this is over,” Paltrow said. “This way of treating women ends now.”