Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein has been accused of decades of sexual harassment. The NY Times has unearthed multiple accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by the Weinstein Company head, including sexual advances towards actresses and subordinate employees.
Ashley Judd, who appeared in several Weinstein Company-produced films, accuses the executive of asking her if she would watch him shower in his hotel room back in 1997 and trying to give her a massage. “How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?” Judd said.
Allegations by Weinstein employees, including Lauren O’Connor, were also shared. “There is a toxic environment for women at this company,” O’Connor said in a memo addressed to several executives at the company after being allegedly harassed.
Weinstein (pictured above with his wife) is known as one of Hollywood's most powerful executives. His films, which include Good Will Hunting and Pulp Fiction, have garnered six best-picture Oscars. The piece states that he has settled at least eight cases of sexual harassment privately— and paid victims to keep quiet. Many women stated that they didn't want to come forward due to Weinstein's power in the industry.
In a statement to the Times, Weinstein said: “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.” He also said that he was working with therapists and taking leave of absence to “deal with this issue head on.”
Lisa Bloom, a lawyer advising Weinstein, said in a statement that “he denies many of the accusations as patently false.” In earlier comments, Weinstein said that comments in O’Connor’s memo were “off base” and that they had left on good terms.
After the article's publication, Weinstein released a statement adding that, "I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then," he says. "I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office - or out of it. To anyone." He added, "I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment."
According to Variety, Weinstein's attorney says he is planning to sue the NY Times on the grounds of false and defamatory statements. The publication asserts its reporting was accurate.
[Photo: Getty Images]