In October 2017, Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment in reports from The New York Times and The New Yorker, which soon grew into allegations from more than 100 women. Several Hollywood celebrities, like Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Cara Delevingne and Kate Beckinsale, also came forward with their stories about harassment from Weinstein.

In May 2018, Weinstein was arrested by the NYPD and indicted on charges from two women for rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct. Ken Auletta, a journalist from The New Yorker who nearly broke the Weinstein story several years earlier, says abusive behavior is no surprise in Hollywood, but Weinstein’s actions were unprecedented.

“If you go back in movie history, Hollywood history, there are untold examples of abusive behavior by studio heads,” Auletta told Variety. “Very rare were the incidents of these studio heads raping women and doing some of the things Harvey Weinstein is accused of doing, so that’s different.”

According to Auletta, the entertainment industry has never seen a criminal trial like Weinstein’s.

“The consequences of losing that trial is life in prison. The minimum sentence for rape is 20 years to life. It’s unheard of,” said Auletta.

Last week, Weinstein was charged in Los Angeles with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in 2013. His trial in New York is expected to last two months.

Popular on Variety

More Popular on Variety

  • "Birds of Prey" egg sandwich

    How to Make Harley Quinn's Egg and Cheese Sandwich

    In celebration of “Birds of Prey” moving to video On Demand Bruno Oliver, who plays Sal, the cook who creates Harley Quinn’s favorite egg sandwich, is showing viewers how to make the infamous delicacy featured in the film. When Harley Quinn wakes up heavily hungover from a drunken night she heads over to the local [...]

  • I'm Not Ok With This Netflix

    Netflix Stars Share Their Biggest Concerns for the 2020 Election

    In a series of interviews with Variety, the stars of various Netflix series shared their biggest concerns for the upcoming election. Lachlan Watson, who currently stars on “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” expressed concern over a basic lack of empathy. “I think the most pressing issue coming up to this election is treating people like [...]

  • Kerry Washington Variety Cover Story

    Kerry Washington Has Her 'Seat at the Table' Producing 'Little Fires Everywhere'

    Kerry Washington has her seat at the table on Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere,” in which she’s a lead actor and executive producer with co-star Reese Witherspoon. “When I was a kid I wasn’t like, ‘I want to be a producer one day!’ But I think I have always been — my mother would vouch for [...]

Most Popular

Access exclusive content